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Summary: God honors the prayers of His people for wisdom.

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Sermon Series: Finding Your Focus

Title: Wisdom

Text: I Kings 3:7-14; 4:29-30, 32-34

Truth: God honors the prayers of His people for wisdom.

Aim: To help you pray for wisdom to determine the primary focus or priority of your life.

INTRODUCTION

A redhead is walking through the countryside, when she finds a bottle. She rubs it and, you guessed it, a genie appears.

The genie says, “You are allowed three wishes. But, I must warn you, anything you get, all the blondes in the world get twice as much.”

The woman agrees, “Okay. Give me a nice house.”

The genie replies, “You now have one nice house and all the blondes in the world have two.”

The redhead asks, “Give me a gorgeous man.”

The genie replies, “You have now one gorgeous man, while all the blondes have two.”

The redhead says, “For my last wish, Genie, see that stick over there, beat me half to death with it.”

Three women were walking down a street and found a bottle laying on the side of the road. They picked it up and a genie popped out. The genie said, “You will each get one wish.”

The first woman wished she was 20 times smarter. The genie made her 20 times smarter. The second woman wished she was 30 times smarter. The genie made her 30 times smarter. The last woman wished she was 60 times smarter.

The genie turned her into a man.

I’m very relieved to hear you laughing!

This is one of the famous passages in the Bible. The best we can imagine of ever having an opportunity like this is in a joke, but it was a reality for Solomon when God gave him a blank check.

The series of messages this month, taken from I Kings and the life of Solomon, is titled Finding Your Focus. Last Sunday we talked about ambition. Our ambition is for the glory of God and the good of others. We are to beware of improper ambition. Solomon also illustrates that we need God’s wisdom to know what is our proper ambition. How do we gain that wisdom? We are to pray for wisdom to determine the focus or priority of our lives.

The big question that is being asked from 2 Samuel 9-20 through I Kings 3-4 is who is to succeed David as king? I Kings 1-2 show us that the prophet Nathan supports Solomon’s rise to the throne. But what about the Lord? In chapters 3-4 we learn that Solomon receives the Lord’s affirmation. Solomon is God’s choice. This is the first of two encounters Solomon has with the Lord. Both stress God’s covenant with David and God’s desire to bless Solomon if he will follow David’s example of serving the Lord.

The passage also explains the origin of this man’s unbelievable wisdom. The author gives two examples of Solomon’s God-given wisdom. One is an example of practical wisdom when two prostitutes have a dispute over who is the mother of a child. You remember, he says to cut the baby in half and give each mother a half of the baby. The real mother, out of love for her baby says give the baby to the other woman so it can live.

The second example of his great God-given wisdom is his administrative ability in chapter 4. David had the nation organized for war. Solomon needed to organize the nation for peace. He organized the nation in such a way that the nation experienced peace and unmatched economic prosperity. It concludes with Solomon’s fame as a wise man spreading throughout the ancient world.

What we can learn from this time in Solomon’s life is God honors the prayers of His people for wisdom. We need God’s wisdom to determine the focus or priority of our life.

When does God honor the prayers of His people for wisdom?

I. WHEN THEY PRAY FOR WISDOM (I KINGS 3:7-9)

The kingdom is secure. Solomon turns his attention to ruling the nation. The one major fault of Solomon is seen at the beginning of his reign. He did not have a heart that was completely devoted to the Lord. God continually spoke to Solomon about this, and you will see that in this chapter. But he does have faith in God and devoutly worships Him. He goes to where the ark and altar are in order to meet the Lord. After offering this enormous sacrifice, that conveys how much he loves and values the Lord, God appears to him in a dream. God gave him the opportunity to ask for anything. Solomon is very aware he is not capable of adequately ruling the nation and he asks for wisdom. This so pleases the Lord that God grants his request and gives him riches and honor as well.

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Talk about it...

Kimberly Isley

commented on Jan 17, 2009

Preachers/Pastors should never use humor to demean other people--good grief! What a way to begin a sermon.

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