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Lord, give me...

What would you do with a blank check? I remember watching a movie as a kid called “Blank Check.” It was about a kid who is handed check with nothing written in the amount box so he wrote in $1 million. It was fun as a child to daydream what I would do with all that money. Now I think differently about what I could do with that money. I could get a new car that wouldn’t need as much maintenance. I could pay off the mortgage. I could start an account for the kids to have their education paid for. I could help my family. I could give to my church and school. I could give to missions. Etc. As we return to reality, we can admit that we all could use a little more. But that “little more” varies on person to person and situation to situation. Everyone here is from a variety of stations in life. Some upper, middle, and lower class. Some

blue collar or white collar. Some do service work and some are business owners. But all of you have been asked to serve exactly where you are. God put you there. Do you feel like you have enough to fulfill your role? Do you have enough smarts, wit, money, influence, patience, or strength to do what has been placed before you? Is God enough for you?

Lord, give me.... You fill in the blank. What do you feel you need? Before we answer whether God will give it to you, we get to be a fly on the wall to a conversation between God and Solomon who was given a blank check. The office of king of Israel had been handed over to Solomon by David. God had chosen Solomon to be the next king (1 Ch 28:5). When his father, David, died, Solomon faced huge responsibilities. He would lead the nation from which the

Savior of the world would come. He would oversee the building of the temple (v. 10). He had to follow God’s ways faithfully. God had put Solomon in this position, and the Lord expected much from the king. Our text demonstrates that Solomon could expect much from his Lord. As Solomon began his service to the Lord and the nation as king, he found the Lord ready to help. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” This was a miraculous appearance that happens very seldom in the Bible. Solomon didn’t’ try to explain it but accepted that this was different. As we continue, notice the pronouns “you,” “your” and “I” as we read. 6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to

you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.” Solomon didn’t begin by demanding, “Finally, you noticed me and that I need you. It’s about time you showed up to help me.” He didn’t boast, “I am worthy of everything you should grant me.” Solomon acknowledged God. “You showed great kindness. You continued great kindness. You gave him a son to be king.” He doesn’t even say “me” by referencing who is king. God did it all. Solomon continued,

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.” Again, Solomon gives all credit to God. All Solomon did to be king was be born, and he didn’t even have control over that. When he finally says “I,” Solomon humbled himself by

acknowledging his need. “I am young and inexperienced. You fulfilled your promise to Abraham 1000 years earlier by making your people too numerous to count.”

After listing what God did, he gets to the request. “Lord, give me enough money to pay for mine and everyone’s mortgage. Provide for the building project for the temple.” No. 9

So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” This is

remarkable. He humbly asked for a way care for the gift God just gave him, the people. Solomon was valuing God’s spiritual gifts over anything else he could get.

To do a job one needs the proper equipment. The best equipment alone will not attain success. One must have the wisdom to use it. The finest scalpel might as well be a chainsaw without a wise surgeon. The best stove and ingredients will not make an extravagant meal without a knowledgeable chef. Not only does one need equipment, one also needs

the wisdom to use it. That is the prayer of Solomon. Christians facing their tasks can ask for the same thing. We have such a small view of God when we ask for temporary, earthy things to be the solution to our need. The reason all of us deserve to perish is not a list of rules we have broken, but an infinite value we have scorned—the infinite value of all that God is for us in Jesus Christ. As C.S. Lewis illustrated, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (C.S. Lewis. The Weight of Glory, 26). Let’s focus on how Jesus is like Solomon, who asked for the good of others rather than himself. Jesus emptied himself when he humbled himself to death on a