"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM GOD?"
Intro. Solomon has ascended to the throne and he has gathered the people to Gibeon where the tabernacle still stood with the ancient brazen altar, that was made by Bazaleel at the time of Moses. There he offered a thousand sacrifices to the Lord.
I. THAT NIGHT THE LORD CAME TO HIM AND SAID, "ASK, WHAT SHALL I GIVE YOU?"
A. Have you ever wondered what you would ask for if God should appear to you and say, "Ask, what shall I give you."?
B. We all know the story of Alladin and the magic lamp.
1. There are many take offs of that story, such as the three sailors whose ship went down, and they made their way in a raft to a small atoll. One was an Englishman, the second was an Italian and the third of indistinct origin, (to be politically correct). They had eaten all the coconuts and were slowly starving to death when a bottle came floating up on the beach. They were almost too weak to go down to get it, but they drew sticks and the Italian had to fetch the bottle. When he brought it back, they pulled the cork out of the bottle, and a genie came out and granted each of them one wish. The Italian immediately said, "I wish I was back in Rome drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe on the Via Venato, just watching the people pass by." Immediately, there he was back in Rome drinking his coffee. The Englishman said, I wish I were back in London eating fish and chips in Piccadilly Square, and immediately there he was back in London. The third then said, "I am so lonely without my two
friends I wish they were back here to keep me company."
2. I know it is not politically correct to tell ethnic jokes, even the Pope expressed his displeasure of them. After his last visit to the states, he was interviewed about his trip to America, and he said there were two things he didn't like about America, Polish jokes and M&Ms. The reporter said, "I can understand your resentment to Polish jokes, but why didn't you like the M&M's?" He said, "After I peeled them there wasn't much chocolate left to eat."
C. Many people sort of look at God as a magic genie. They feel that God exists to answer their slightest wish.
D. You may be thinking, "That lucky guy Solomon, I wish the Lord would come to me and ask me what I want Him to give me."
1. If God ever came to you with the same kind of proposition that He gave to Solomon, what would you ask for?
2. Take just a moment now, and think about that, what is your wish?
a. My smart little grandson said that he would wish that all of his other wishes would come to pass.
b. It takes a kid to think of something like that.
3. What you would wish for reveals much about your spiritual state.
a. If you were thinking of things of the material realm, like big bank accounts, bayside mansions, fancy cars, then it reveals that your values are in carnal temporal things.
b. If your wish was to be more like Jesus, or to have a more consistent prayer life, or to be a better witness for Christ, then that too is a revelation that your values really stand, in things that are eternal and enduring.
II. OUR PRAYERS THUS ARE USUALLY A REFLECTION OF WHERE OUR TRUE VALUES LIE.
A. What kind of things am I praying for?
B. You see, Jesus gave His true disciples that same kind of choice.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you.
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
1. James wrote, "You ask and receive not because you are asking for the wrong kind of things. You are asking for things that you might consume on your own lusts."
2. I wonder how many times we are asking for things that would only pander to our lusts?
III. WHAT WAS SOLOMON'S REQUEST?
And Solomon said unto God, You showed great mercy to David my father, and have made me to reign in his stead.
Now, O LORD God, let Your promise unto David my father be established: for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this Your great people?
A. Where do you suppose Solomon got the idea to ask God for wisdom?
And David said to Solomon, My son, it was my desire to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:
But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "You have shed to much blood, and have made great wars: you shall not build a house unto My name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in My sight.
Behold, you will have a son, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
He shall build a house for My name; and he shall be My son, and I [will be] his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
Now, my son, the LORD be with you; and prosper you, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as He has said of you.
Only the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.
B. In 1 Kings, where we get another account of God coming to Solomon and promising to give him what he wanted, we are told that God was pleased with his request. Why do you suppose that God was pleased with the request of Solomon?
C. Solomon realized that the calling of God upon his life was beyond his own capacities to properly accomplish them.
D. Solomon was asking for the divine enabling for him to do the things that God had called him to do.
1. Lord, you have made me the ruler over your people. Grant me the wisdom and knowledge to do the right thing as I reign over them.
2. God you have called me to fulfill a task that is greater than my capacities, give me the wisdom to fulfill it.
E. The request was in total harmony with the purposes of God.
1. John said that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us and if He hears us, then we have the petitions that we have desired from Him.
2. A sure way of getting your prayers answered is to discover the will of God and make that your prayer.
F. The response of God to Solomon was overwhelming.
And God said to Solomon, Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor for the life of your enemies, neither yet have you asked for long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people, over whom I have made you king:
Wisdom and knowledge [is] granted to you; and I will give you riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that [have been] before you, neither shall there any after you have the like.
G. Jesus said much the same thing to us. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
IV. WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR REQUEST TODAY?
A. The wisest thing that you could ever ask for, would be to ask God to forgive your sin, and grant you the gift of eternal life with Him in His kingdom.
1. The Bible tells us that unforgiven sin separates us from God, and is destroying us now and will destroy us forever.
a. So if I gained the whole world, but lost my own soul, it would really be of no profit to me.
b. What solace could you find realizing that you were the richest man in hell? Or the most popular? Or the most powerful?
B. Having asked that, it would then be wise to ask Him to show you what His purpose is for your life, for you have only one life and it will soon be past, and only the things you have done for Christ will last.
C. Then you should ask Him for the necessary ability to accomplish those things that He wants you to do.
D. Then as He begins to accomplish His will through your life you need to ask Him to keep you humble and to realize that to Him belongs all of the praise, glory and honor for what He has done, and thank Him that He has allowed you to be the instrument through which He did His work.