Summary: 1st in a series about life of Solomon. An effort to get the audience to associate Solomon's request with the choices that are placed before them and to prioritize them accordingly
Intro: Wouldn’t it be nice? Wouldn’t it be great to have 3 wishes, for whatever you want? I once asked our church family in Joplin to think that through – If you could have anything you wanted, what would you want? I’ll share some of their responses a little later. But I’ll tell you now that someone put down, “A new flashlight, because mine is broken” and I already knew that because they’re all broken! There’s no such thing as a flashlight that works, just like there are no actually live armadillos in MO – there are only squished ones!
But wouldn’t it be great…Anything you want?
For the next several weeks, we’re going to be looking into the life and works of King Solomon. There are a lot of life lessons to be learned from this king, and we’re going to begin them today.
Solomon comes on the scene at a great time of peace in Israel’s history, 970 B. C. The Promised Land has been settled. Saul, the first king, had turned aside from God’s plans. Then came David the 2nd king; a warrior and a poet. God called David a man after His own heart. He served God well, though he had messed up at times, and when his son Solomon came to the throne, the work of war was mostly finished. Solomon was handed a time of peace and prosperity that needed to be well-led.
There’s no temple yet – only “high places” where they offered sacrifices, and it seems that the main one is in Gibeon. There, at the start of his reign, Solomon offers 1,000 sacrifices. That was a good move. Solomon was obviously seeking something from God. Sure enough, that night, in a dream, God speaks to him and says, “Ask anything you want of Me.” (I Kings 3 or II Chronicles 1)
That’s why we’re looking at a genie this morning! It’s as if Solomon had 3 wishes given to him – except this was real, and it was God. God made Solomon an incredible offer. Ask anything you want.
When’s the last time that happened to you?
We’re not used to thinking this way. There is no “genie of the lamp.” If you’re like me, you can’t recall a time lately when God has come to you with an offer like He did to Solomon. So, right away, I’m asking, what about this story is any kind of help to us? We get to read about Solomon making a good choice and all, but I just haven’t had God make me this kind of an offer!
But, I started to think about what kind of offers God has made to me, and to you, and to anyone who will receive them. I just started listing the offers – the offers that God makes to us when we pursue a right relationship with Him:
Rest – real rest and peace
Life – full life and eternal life
Freedom – from worry, and from the power of death
Companionship – He’ll never leave or forsake us
Participation in His divine nature
Wisdom - if we’ll ask for it
Adoption – not just to work for Him but to also belong in His Family
The Holy Spirit – to reassure us, to empower us, to intercede for us
Heaven – to look forward to.
These are all some of the good things that God extends and says, “Ask Me for this. It’s yours!”
Now, I want to consider Solomon here in light of the offers that God has extended to us, and especially in light of the offer He gives us in prayer. Sure enough, Jesus said,
Matthew 21:22 - If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Matthew 7:7-8 - Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
If you could have anything you wanted, what would you do? Well, just in case that’s what all this means, I want to lay out some guidelines for what to do when God makes you an offer.
When God Makes You An Offer…
I. There are No Conventional Limits
When I put this question to a church family, some of the responses were pretty small:
• I would want something that would look like a little doll
• I would want a toy riding lawnmower
• I would want a little toy spaceship
• I would want a little bitty puppy dog
• I would want something Bob the Builder
Now, guess why those responses were so small - Because these were the thoughts of some of the smallest kids! Faced with asking for anything they could have, they just haven't had enough experience in life yet to think big.