I Kings 3:3-14 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,
12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
"What shall I give you?" God said, "Ask Me." Ask Him.
--God gave that invitation to young king Solomon.
--He gives it to us also. His invitation to prayer.
--Prayer is powerful. Changes things. Changes us.
Good parents care for their children's needs.
--So does our Heavenly Father, for His dear ones.
--Nothing is beyond ability of prayer, except what is outside the will of God. So let's all pray.
--We all have needs. God says, "Ask Me."
I. SOLOMON ASKED GOD FOR WISDOM (I Kings 3).
--First, let's love the Lord. "Solomon loved the Lord."
--Offered to the Lord "a thousand burnt offerings."
--Solomon had weaknesses (v I,2). We all have a few.....,
--But in Gibeon "The Lord appeared to Solomon ... Ask!
What shall I give you?" (v 5). God is saying that.
What did Solomon ask for? He asked God for wisdom.
--"Give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.
For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"
--He had asked only for wisdom. Not riches, or things.
--Friend, let's seek the best will of God - not ours.
--To pray intelligently, humbly; and leave it to Him.
This pleases the Lord, when we ask aright or for others.
--God said, "I have also given what you have not asked."
--He adds, "If you walk in My ways .. keep My statutes and My commandments .. I will lengthen your days."
--To give Solomon "long life," and many other things.
--Did God keep His word? God will always, for us all!
Let's not say this was back then, or for a few.
--Jesus says to us, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). Do we seek Him? Is God first?
--Dear one, do what God says. It works! For me.
--It will work for you. God says, "Ask Me!"
--If we do our part, God does His. Trust Him, fully.
I couldn't go to another but I could to my own father.
--My father supplied my need. Are you God's child?
The wisest of men always need the wisdom of God.
--Not exclusive in education, although we need that.
--We get it from the Lord. As Solomon did, by prayer.
--By humility. By holiness. And God's will.
A teacher asked her Sunday Class in the Bible story, if Jesus passed by, and they were blind, what would they ask Him for. It got them to thinking.
--One child said, "I'd ask Him for a walking stick."
--Another said, "I'd ask Him for a Leader Dog to guide me and lead me around safely."
--Then a lad said, "I'd ask Jesus for new eyes to see."
--He added, "That is, if it was His will."
--All asked for good things. He asked for the best.
--And, notice he said, ".. if it was His will."
--He had been taught to leave it in the will of God.
Jesus acknowledged that. Solomon had great wisdom.
--The "wisdom of Solomon" is well-known; proverbial.
--Solomon had it, but he didn't always use it.
God is no longer speaking to many by dreams or vision.
--We don't need them. We all have God's Holy Word.
--We have Jesus. The Holy Spirit. We have prayer.
--Sometimes we can have bad dreams. Use discerning.
We admire Solomon's humility. Obedience. Wisdom.
--His Book of Proverbs, and some Psalms. His worship.
--His offerings to the Lord. How God blessed Him.
--What Solomon got from God, you and I can get also!
--James (1:5) says, "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God Who gives to all liberally .."
--He tells how - "let him ask of God." Live for God.
II. ELISHA ASKED FOR GOD'S SPIRIT (II Kings 2).
--Wisdom is good. But "God's Spirit" is better.
--In his last days on earth, Elijah said to his helper, Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you" (v 9).
--Elisha said, "Let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." That was God's Spirit, in Elijah!
--The prophet who did so many wonderful works for God.
--Young Elisha knew his need of God's Spirit on him.
Can you use more of God's Holy Spirit? I sure can.
--Let's ask Him, as I often do.
My friend, we are living in "the last days" before Jesus comes again; and a spirit of anti-God is upon us!
--The Bible foretells of the times. Over the world.
--America is not what it was, morally, when founded.
--Groups are opposed to things holy - God, Bible, Ten Commandments, prayer - and seek to remove them - the very things that have made America great!
--Lobbied two states to redefine marriage away from one man and one woman, into law! What will be next?
--Is this what we want for our beloved country?
--Prayer and Commandments go out of schools, and police must go in. Violence increasing everywhere!
We are either on God's side, or the world's side.
--It will show in our speech. Dress. Work. Worship.
--Jesus said, "He who is not with Me is against Me."
--Jesus "is the Door," and we are inside, or outside.
--With the Lord. Or against Him. No middle ground.
--Either saved, or unsaved. Bound for heaven or hell.
Terrorism, enmity, evil, envy - are surely not of God!
--They are of the devil! God is a God of love, right.
--We need the "whole armor of God." "Spirit of God!"
So Elisha said, "I pray .. let a double portion of your spirit - God's Spirit - be upon me."
--Is that what you want? What America or world, want?
--It is my prayer. And my prayer for all the world.
III. A GODLY WOMAN ASKED FOR GOD'S HELP (II Kings 4).
--What a lovely story, in this Chapter 4, of a man and woman - a godly middle-age couple, but childless.
--Elisha, preaching, often walked by their home.
--"Let's show this man of God hospitality .. provide a room for him to rest" (v 9f).
--What a gracious thought, and act of kindness.
--Elisha accepted their kind offer.
So Elisha asked, verse 13, "What can I do for you?"
--When told they had no child - "no son" - Elisha offered prayer, promising, "..this time next year, you shall embrace a son" (v 16). They got a son!
Kindness begets kindness. They enjoyed their son.
--Children are a blessing. Lovingly care for them.
In due time this couple had the promised son. He grew.
--One day the boy took very ill, and died.
--His mother put him on the prophet's bed. Prayed.
--"Went to the man of God" (v 25). Read the story.
--Elisha came home with her. Prayed for the child.
--Restored him to life! Said, "Pick up your son" (36).
It may not always work as we would like. People die.
--Those who love God, obey God, will trust God.
--We do all we know to do, seek humbly, God's help.
--Trust Him to do what we cannot. Fervently pray.
--Then, leave the results with the Lord, if one dies.
--God is still working amazing miracles, my friend!
--In living, or in dying, "we are the Lord's".
So what are your needs today? God says,- "Ask Me."
IV. A QUEEN ASKED THAT HER PEOPLE BE SAVED (Esther 5).
--An essential, unselfish, need all should pray for!
--To be saved! Eternally. And seek it for others.
You know the story of Esther, a lovely Persian queen.
--A Jewish festival is named in her honor.
--This is a story of conflict of good and evil.
--Devilish Haman tried to kill all Jews, everywhere.
--Queen Esther, a Jew, was doomed as well as others.
--Her uncle, Mordecai, raised her. Knew God. Prayed.
--Told Esther to go to the king, to save her people.
--Uninvited, at the risk of her life, Esther went in.
--The king said, "What do you want? I'll give it to you."
Esther "fell down at his feet; besought him with tears."
--She told him the story. Wanted her people saved.
--Not just herself, or family! But all Jews!
--A queen dared to ask. God gave the answer.
Children tell me, "I want Daddy saved. In church."
--Others, "I want my Mom and Dad to stop fussing, and love each other - and us - more!"
--Some, "I want my life to count for the Lord."
Answers begin, when we begin with Jesus, to save us.
--Commit all to Him. Commune with Him in prayer.
--God says, "Come to Me. Follow Me. Ask Me."
--Has a "plan for good" for us.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 804