Wednesday, May 26, 2010

R.E.A.L. Women Devotional - In A Dream is a Wish

What is a wish? The dictionary defines it, "to want; desire." We find our daily reading this week in 1 Kings. The first two chapters we see the sibling rivalry between Adonijah and Solomon. A fight for the throne. Adonijah, decides for himself that he will become king over Israel. But, that was not the plan. Solomon was to become king. Instead, Adonijah's unwise aggressive action lead him down the road that lead to his death.

Solomon had grown up watching his father David lead Israel which had prepared him for the throne. But as soon as Solomon took that position, he cleaned house, doing away with many of his father's leaders. This way he could start from scratch. He knew the responsibility of this position was great and it was going to take much more than being a warrior and wealthy.

In 1 Kings 3, Solomon has married the daughter of Pharaoh in Egypt. This little compromise was Solomon's flaw. He kept every statute that his father kept, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense in the surrounding hills of Jerusalem rather than at the tabernacle. One day, Solomon went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices. It was there the Lord appeared in a dream to Solomon, instead of while he was awake and offering his sacrifice. God did not agree with his sacrifices so instead came to him in a dream. In verse 4, the scripture says that God said to Solomon, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."

This was Solomon's response beginning with verse 6, "You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and rigteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 Now , O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen , a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distingquish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" I'm sure Solomon was feeling heavy with the weight he now had to carry.

The Lord was pleased with what Solomon had asked for. Verse 11 God said, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for - both riches and honor - so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statues and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life." Even though Solomon's sacrifices weren't pure to the Lord, his desire was and even more, Solomon was humble. The Lord honored that by giving him wisdom. Solomon was known all over the world for his wisdom. The benefit of this desire was great wealth and a long life. Then verse 15 says, "Then solomon awoke - and he realized it had been a dream."
(1 Kings 3:11-15)

Last summer we did our study in Proverbs, the book of wisdom that Solomon wrote. In that we discovered that wisdom is not "what" but "who". Who is wisdom? Jesus. When Jesus is our desire, we now have a greater wisdom than even Solomon. The attributes of wisdom are knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is what Jesus is doing and has done. When we ask the Lord to help us make decisions, much like Solomon had to do when the two prostitutes came to him with their issue, it is the Holy Spirit that lives in us, who helps us to discern what is right and wrong. (1 Kings 3:16-28) Wisdom gives us understanding, which is knowing what Jesus wants you to do.
Proverbs 2:10 & 11 says "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11 Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you."

Unlike Solomon, maybe the Lord has not appeared to you in a dream and asked you what you wish. Instead, He gives us the opportunity to ask for wisdom, Jesus, while we are awake and concious. The promise of wisdom is a long life. The promise of Jesus is eternal life. With Jesus not only do we receive wisdom, which leads to prosperity and health, but also we have power and victory over death.