God’s instructions lead to blessings

To deal with instruction with wisdom and the benefits of wise behavior, read the Scriptures of I Kings 2:10-12 and 3:3-14.

Solomon who inherits the throne as a mere youth asks God for the understanding and wisdom necessary to lead God’s people. The message reveals Solomon’s desire to be a man communicating with God. At this point in his life, he was unencumbered by selfishness, distractions, and the allure of unlimited power. The prayer he uttered shows a preoccupation with faithfulness, obedience and fellowship with God.

Solomon’s conversation with God in his dream is a good example of that deep longing.

Despite his awareness of the enormous challenges that face him as the new king of Israel, his prayers have less to do with his own agenda and more to do with his vocational calling and mission to lead God’s people.

People today don’t put much stock in dreams, but historically and biblically speaking, generations of people who have gone before us thought otherwise.

Sure, many dreams probably have no significance — perhaps they are the result of eating something odd.

But there are also dreams that communicate important truths and spiritual insights. Take Joseph who dreamed about how God would one day make him a great leader in Egypt; Daniel, the great interpreter of dreams; Joseph the betrothed of Mary, who was told in a dream that Mary would conceive a child from the Holy Spirit; or the Magi who were warned in a dream to return home a different way.

Some might say that God often chooses to speak to us in dreams because the instruction comes at a time when we are more susceptible to God’s direction and guidance. Perhaps when we dream, our human will is less prone to resistance.

Solomon’s prayer for wisdom is so powerful and worthy of consideration in regard to our prayerful limitations that we often overlook the fact that his entire conversation with God happened while he slept. (I Kings 3:3-15)

To hear God, to speak to God, and to seek God’s will for life often requires slowing down, taking time out from busy schedules, and turning off all the distracting sounds and voices that so easily get in the way.

Often how God gets our attention is when we take time to be still, pray, and read scripture on a daily basis — whether we are dreaming or not.

Solomon’s prayer for true wisdom is a prayer of praise; life is lived to the fullest when we remember God is in charge. Our praise reaches God’s heart as we reach out in availability to him.

It is a prayer of submission. This prayer waits on God. Honest submission understands where life and power originate. Solomon wanted a listening heart to hear God speak.

He does not ask for personal wealth, health, or power, but rather for wisdom to lead. It demonstrates a compassion and concern for the people he rules. That was his passion. Wisdom knows the difference between pity — pity weeps and runs away — and compassion, which comes to help and stay. That was Solomon’s passion. Wisdom to lead… that is passion. (I Kings 3:10-13)

The miracle of this prayer rests on God. God answered the king in a way that far exceeded Solomon’s hopes and dreams. God surpasses the minimal heart requests and gives Solomon that for which he DOES NOT ask — riches and honor.

When we submit ourselves in faith and obedience, God will provide blessings for us beyond anything we anticipate.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Sharon Weaver, pastor of the People’s Church of Farrandsville, a United Methodist Church.