“ And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies ; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.“–1 Kings 3:11-12
Near Christmas nearly every parent and spouse will be asking someone, “What do you want for Christmas?”. But, can you imagine receiving a message from God saying, “Ask what I shall give thee”! Given such a choice, what would you ask for? Solomon was in that exact situation and he made a wise choice. Our text is God’s response. Speaking of this J. R. Miller wrote:
James says that the reason men ask and receive not—is because they ask that they may consume God’s gifts on their lusts. The prayer of selfishness is never pleasing to God; but he is pleased when we ask for things to be used in blessing others. The prayer for mere earthly things, may really be for a curse upon our life. Midas desired the power to change whatever he touched into gold. His request was granted; and the fruits he plucked, and the food he would put into his mouth—all turned to gold, until in the agonies of starvation he was compelled to cry for the withdrawal of the power. It was a curse, not a blessing to him.
So it is with those who live only for wealth; they get it, but their souls are starving! Solomon asked for wisdom only, and left all other matters to God’s own choice. Jesus said, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ “