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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 204

Prayers of the Old Testament
The Prayer of Solomon

There are many worthwhile conclusions one can draw from the fact that the wisest man on earth was also a man of prayer. Wisdom and prayer, it seems, go hand in hand, and when one has attained wisdom, they tend to spend more time in the presence of God than those who continue to prefer ignorance.

For some unexplained reason, especially in our modern age, the enemy has hijacked the narrative and convinced a great majority that only fools still take the time to commune and fellowship with God, or even believe in Him. Yet here we have arguably the wisest man to have ever walked the earth, and in researching his life we realize he was a man of profound prayer.

Like his father before him, Solomon was an imperfect man. The son of King David and Bathsheba, as controversial as his father if not more so, Solomon took up the mantle of leadership after the death of David, inheriting a kingdom that was stable and well managed.

Because none of the surrounding nations were strong enough to cause Solomon problems, he begins to exert and extend his control reaching as far as Egypt on one end, and the Euphrates River on the other.

Due to the wisdom God granted him, Solomon was a good king, one who was able to perceive Israel’s strategic position, and exploit it in the trading of goods, becoming a land bridge between Egypt and Asia.

Solomon had wisdom, glory, wealth, and the necessary vision to build the temple of worship his father David had dreamed of.

Even with all the wisdom God had granted him, and the potential instilled in him, Solomon strayed from the path of righteousness, compromising his convictions in order to appease his wives, coming to the point of worshiping the foreign deities his wives had brought with them.

As is often the case, a good beginning does not ensure a good end, nor does being born into privilege ensure that one’s heart will be perpetually thankful for all that they’ve been given.

Taking into account Solomon’s own words in the book of Ecclesiastes we also realize there was a time of repentance in his life, a time of turning, and of coming before God broken and contrite asking for forgiveness.

Although not many of Solomon’s prayers have been recorded, there are a handful of prayers he prayed worth discussing and meditating upon. Of them all, a prayer he prayed in his youth, long before he built the temple, is one that stands out as most honest and most compelling of all.

It is this prayer we will be considering as we delve into the prayer life of Solomon, one of the most influential kings of Israel, a man tasked with building the temple, a man of untold wisdom, yet also a man with a weakness, which led to his separation from the truth of God’s way.

One event that inexorably marked the life of Solomon was when the Lord appeared to him in a dream and spoke to him. This was the pivotal moment in Solomon’s life.

It has been Biblically established that God speaks to His servants through dreams whenever He might so choose. It is one of the many ways in which He communicates with mankind. Although employing dreams as a means of communication seems to have been more common during the olden days when we did not have the Word of God, it still happens to this day.

Job 33:14-16, “For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while slumbering on their beds, then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction.”

It is not something man can manufacture or make happen, nor is it something we can demand of God. It is God who chooses the means by which He communicates to us. Our duty is to know His voice, and obey when He speaks.

1 Kings 3:5, “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’”

It is not known if God had communicated with Solomon before Gibeon. Was this Solomon’s first experience with seeing the Lord in a dream and hearing Him speak, or was he accustomed to something so awe inspiring? Was this the first time God had tried to communicate with him, or was it just the first time Solomon acknowledged the presence and voice of God?

All these are questions that stimulate the intellect, but for which we will never have a definitive answer while on this earth.

What is known is that Solomon went to the tabernacle of meeting at Gibeon, and brought a great sacrifice before God, and God received it.

2 Chronicles 1:1-3, “Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly. And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. Then Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.”

The people gathered before the tabernacle of meeting and sought the Lord. They were not there for the food, the prizes, the raffles, the giveaways, they were there to encounter God, to be in His presence and glory in Him. It was here that Solomon brought a great sacrifice to God consisting of a thousand burnt offerings and that very night the Lord appeared to him in a dream and spoke to him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

2 comments:

Barbara said...

Your dreams can be influenced by God, demons, your own life, or other people's wills. If you know how to interpret dreams, you can tell where they came from and what they mean or don't mean. People dream of things that then happen in the future. Maybe these dreams are from God as a warning or a heads up. Maybe he is letting you know to look for him for further instruction on how to proceed in the dreamt of scenario.

Solomon took after his father David in his love for God and lust for chasing women. God also forgave David but not without punishment for doing wrong. He will still talk to you even after you have disappointed him, as long as you go back and say you are sorry.

MarsHill said...

Here is your sermon from Sunday:

http://villagebiblechurch.net/2012/12/04/ii-timothy-31-12-perilous-times-are-coming-sermon-by-mike-boldea-december-2-2012/

Loved it. God Bless,
Jeff