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March 22, 2023 - 1 Kings 3-5

Chapter three begins: “Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt” (3:1). This thing has the potential for not ending well! (More on the end of Solomon’s reign, another day.) The people, and Solomon himself, were sacrificing at the high places: “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places” (3:3). Have I noted that this thing has the potential for not ending well?

At the high place at Gibeon, Solomon sacrificed, but then he prayed one of the most wonderful prayers recorded in the Scriptures (ch. 3). Solomon, when asking of the Lord, might have asked anything, but he asked for wisdom, and God granted his good request: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore” (4:29).

Wisdom is the ability to make good and godly choices. Not all who are in Christ possess wisdom; that’s why James instructs, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). And not all who possess wisdom consistently act wisely (see “Solomon”). Today, let us ask for wisdom, confident that the One who has made atonement for us will not deny us.

Behold the throne of grace!

The promise calls me near:

there Jesus shows a smiling face,

and waits to answer prayer.

That rich atoning blood,

which sprinkled round we see,

provides for those who come to God

an all prevailing plea.

My soul, ask what thou wilt;

thou canst not be too bold;

since his own blood for thee he spilt,

what else can he withhold? --John Newton (1779)

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