1 Kings 3:4-15
"4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer 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 I shall give you.”6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but 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 many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants."
Having noted the warning of the previous reading, we can take this passage as an example in its own right of how God responds to the love His people show to Him. This does not contradict what has been emphasised in the opening verses of the chapter. We need to re- member that God is prepared to bless us within the limits which we ourselves set upon His bounty by the alien things we allow in our lives. It is a wonderful passage, and Solomon's prayer is beautiful in its simplicity, giving us a lesson in the meaning. When one thinks of all that a powerful eastern monarch might have asked of his God - power, dominion, wealth, luxury - indeed, when we think of what we so often ask for ourselves, we begin to understand how truly and with what measure of the Spirit of God he prayed. How glad God must have been at this response from His anointed servant. Let us ask ourselves today if our prayers have gladdened the heart of God, and what an answer to receive. Not only a wise and understand- ing heart, though that were bounty and enrichment worthy of His royal hand, but riches and honour and length of days. 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God' said Jesus, 'and all these things shall be added unto you'. Have you found yet that the unasked blessings are the glad surpris- es of God's love to those who put first things first?