How would you answer? What would you say? Are you ready?
Would you ask for material things? House? Car? Clothe?
Would you ask for wealth? Money? Stocks? Gold and precious metals?
Would you ask for favor? Lots of friends? Lots of people you know?
Would you ask for power? Control?
Would you ask for peace? No more violence? No more war? No more death?
Would you ask for things for yourself? for others?
Would you ask for something that only benefits you? would benefit a multitude of people?
Would you ask for revenge? Would you ask for justice? Would you ask for mercy? Would you ask for grace? Would you ask for love?
Would you ask for wisdom? Understanding? Insight? Direction?
Where is your heart at today? Are you in a good state of mind to be able to answer such a question? Today’s reading starts on just this subject when God asks Solomon what he wants…
Solomon Asks for Wisdom
1Then Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt by marriage, taking Pharaoh’s daughter, and bringing her to the city of David, until he finished building his own house, the House of Adonai, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2The people, however, were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no House built for the Name of Adonai until those days. 3Now Solomon loved Adonai, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he kept sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. 4So the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Upon this very altar Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings. 5At Gibeon Adonai appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said: “Ask for what should I give you?” 6Solomon said: “You have shown my father Your servant David great lovingkindness, as he walked before You in truth, righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You. Indeed, You have kept this great lovingkindness for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. 7So now, Adonai my God, You have made Your servant king in my father David’s place. I am but a youth. I don’t know how to go out or come in. 8Your servant is amid Your people, whom You have chosen—a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9So give Your servant a mind of understanding to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil—for who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 10Now it was pleasing in the eyes of Adonai that Solomon requested this thing. 11So God said to him: “Because you asked for this thing—and have not asked for yourself long life, nor asked for yourself riches, nor asked for the life of your enemies, but asked for yourself understanding to discern justice— 12behold, I have done according to your words. I have given you a wise and discerning mind, so that there has been none like you before you, nor shall anyone like you arise after you. 13Moreover I have also given you what you did not request—both riches and honor—so that no one among the kings will be like you all your days. 14Furthermore, if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 15Then Solomon awoke and took note of the dream. So he went to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he made a feast for all his courtiers.
Judging Between Two Women
16Later two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One woman said: “My lord, please! This woman and I live in the same house, and I delivered a child while she was in the house. 18On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth to a child. While we were together with no one else with us in the house, just the two of us in the house, 19this woman’s child died during the night, because she lay on top of him. 20Then she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your handmaid was asleep. She laid him at her breast and laid her dead child at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, he had just died! But when I looked at him closely in the morning, I realized that he was not the son I had borne!” 22But the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son!” But the first woman said, “No! The dead one is your son and the living one is my son!” Thus they spoke before the king. 23Then said the king: “The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, but your son is the dead one and my son is the living one.’” 24Then the king said: “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25Then the king said: “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26Then the woman whose son was the living one spoke up to the king—for her heart grew tender for her son—and said, “My lord, please! Give her the living child! Only don’t kill him!” But the other said, “It will be neither mine nor yours! Cut it in two!” 27Then the king responded by saying, “Give her the living child and certainly don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 28When all Israel heard of the verdict that the king had given, they were in awe of the king. For they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
–from 1 Kings 3
Will you be selfless or selfish? Will you be asking our of love and purpose? Will you be asking in humility and grace? Will you ask for the intangible thing of wisdom and knowledge in order to be able to better do what God is calling you to do?
Solomon Asks for Wisdom at Gibeon
1Now Solomon the son of David firmly established himself over his kingdom. For Adonai his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. 2Solomon spoke to all Israel—to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the leading patriarchs— 3and Solomon and the whole assembly with him went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the Tent of Meeting of God was there, which Moses the servant of Adonai had made in the wilderness. 4Now David had brought up the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur had made was there in front of the Tabernacle of Adonai, and Solomon and the assembly inquired of Him there. 6So Solomon went up before Adonai to the bronze altar that was at the Tent of Meeting and offered 1,000 burnt offerings on it. 7That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask! What should I give you?” 8Solomon answered God, “You have shown great lovingkindness to my father David and now You have made me king in his place. 9Now, Adonai Elohim, let Your word to my father David be fulfilled for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10Now give me wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come in before this people. For who can govern this great people of Yours?” 11Then God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart and you have not asked for riches, possessions or honor, nor for the life of those who hate you and have not even asked for long life but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself—so you can govern My people over whom I have made you king— 12wisdom and knowledge will be given to you. Moreover, I will give you riches, possessions and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you ever had and none after you will have.” 13Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from in front of the Tent of Meeting. So he reigned over Israel.
Horses and Chariots from Egypt
14Solomon accumulated chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as plentiful as sycamores in the foothills. 16Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Keve—the king’s merchants purchased them from Keve at a price. 17They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 talents of silver and a horse for 150. So by the same means they were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.
Solomon Prepares to Build
18Then Solomon vowed to build a House for the Name of Adonai, as well as a royal palace for himself.
–from 2 Chronicles 1
Would you ask for wisdom and knowledge? Would you ask to be righteous and just? Would you ask to be able to be just to everyone – from the richest to the poorest so that they all receive justice? Would you ask to get to be a servant? a helper?
A Powerful King for the Poor
1Of Solomon. Give the king Your judgments, O God, and Your righteousness to the king’s son. 2May he judge Your people with righteousness, and Your poor ones with justice. 3Let the mountains bring shalom to the people, and the hills righteousness. 4May he vindicate the poor of the people, save the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor. 5Let them fear You while the sun endures, and while the moon lasts, throughout all generations. 6May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the ground. 7Let the righteous flourish in his days. Let shalom abound till the moon is no more. 8May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. 9Let desert dwellers bow before him, and his enemies lick the dust. 10May kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute, kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11So let all kings bow down before him, and all nations serve him. 12For he rescues the needy crying for help, also the poor and the one with no helper. 13He will take pity on the poor and needy, and the souls of the needy he will save. 14From oppression and violence he redeems their soul, for precious is their blood in his sight. 15Long may he live! May gold from Sheba be given to him. May he pray for him continually, and bless him all day. 16Let there be abundance of grain in the land. Let it sway on the top of the hills, let its fruit be like Lebanon, and let people of the city flourish like grass of the field. 17May his name endure forever. May his name increase before the sun, and may all nations be blessed by him and call him blessed. 18Blessed be Adonai Elohim, God of Israel, who alone does wonders. 19Blessed be His glorious Name forever. May all the earth be filled with His glory! Amen and Amen! 20The prayers of David son of Jesse are complete.
–from Psalms 72
If Jesus was willing to humble himself, why shouldn’t we? If Jesus was willing to lower himself to our level, why should we think we should be raised up?
Let’s be humble! Let’s serve! Let’s allow Jesus to be seen in and through us to the world around us! Let’s just trust God and His plan and His purpose! We knows it’s good, so let’s trust Him!
Let’s mature and move forward! Let’s not get stuck and remain as children without wisdom! Let’s receive God’s Word and let’s move forward believing and trusting in it! Let’s be living to do good! Let’s be living to overcome and overwhelm evil!
1For every kohen gadol taken from among men is appointed to act on behalf of people in matters relating to God, so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to empathize with the ignorant and deluded, since he himself also is subject to weakness. 3For this reason he has to make offerings for sins—just as for the people, so also for himself. 4And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when he is called by God, as Aaron was. 5So also Messiah did not glorify Himself to be made Kohen Gadol; rather, it was God who said to Him, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.” 6And He says in a different passage, “You are a kohen forever, according to the order of Melechizedek .” 7In the days of His life on earth, Yeshua offered up both prayers and pleas, with loud crying and tears, to the One able to save Him from death; and He was heard because of His reverence. 8Though He was a Son, He learned obedience from what He suffered. 9And once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him— 10called by God Kohen Gadol “according to the order of Melechizedek .”
Moving on to Maturity
11About this subject there is much for us to say, and it is hard to explain since you have become sluggish in hearing. 12For although you ought to be teachers by this time, again you need someone to teach you the basics of God’s sayings. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13For anyone living on milk is inexperienced with the teaching about righteousness—he is an infant. 14But solid food is for the mature, who through practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil.
–from Hebrews 5
In this world we will have challenges! we will have troubles! But don’t fear! don’t lose hope! for Jesus has overcome the world! Stick with Him and follow after Him and His ways!
Temptation in the Wilderness
1Yeshua, now filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, returned from the Jordan. He was led by the Ruach in the wilderness
2for forty days, being tested by the devil. Now He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry.
3The devil said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, tell this stone to become bread.”
4Yeshua answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’”
5And leading Him up, the devil showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in an instant.
6And the devil said to Him, “I’ll give to You all this authority along with its glory, because it has been handed over to me and I can give it to anyone I wish.
7Therefore, if you will worship before me, all this shall be Yours.”
8But answering, Yeshua told him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship Adonai your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
9Then he brought Yeshua to Jerusalem and placed Him on the highest point of the Temple. He said to Him, “If You are Ben-Elohim, throw Yourself down from here.
10For it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you,’
11and ‘upon their hands they will lift you up, so that you may not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12But answering, Yeshua said to him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put Adonai your God to the test.’”
13And when the devil had completed every test, he departed from Him until another occasion.
Isaiah’s Prophecy Fulfilled in Natzeret
14Yeshua returned in the power of the Ruach to the Galilee, and news about Him went out through all the surrounding region.
15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone was praising Him.
16And He came to Natzeret, where He had been raised. As was His custom, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and He got up to read.
17When the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18“The Ruach Adonai is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed,
19and to proclaim the year of Adonai’s favor.”
20He closed the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue were focused on Him.
21Then He began to tell them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.”
22All were speaking well of Him and marveling at the gracious words coming out of His mouth. And they were saying, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
23But He said to them, “Doubtless you will say to Me this proverb, ‘Doctor, heal yourself!’ and ‘What we have heard was done at Capernaum, do as much here also in your hometown.’”
24But He said, “Truly, I tell you, ‘No prophet is accepted in his own hometown.’
25But with all truthfulness I say to you, that there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when heaven was closed for three and a half years and there came a great famine over all the land.
26Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a widowed woman.
27There were many with tza’arat in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them were purified apart from Naaman the Syrian.”
28Now all in the synagogue were filled with rage upon hearing these things.
29Rising up, they drove Him out of the town and brought Him as far as the edge of the mountain on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him off the cliff.
30But passing through the middle of them, He went on His way.
Healing and Deliverance in Capernaum and Beyond
31Yeshua came down to Capernaum, a town in the Galilee. He was teaching them on Shabbat,
32and they were astounded at His teaching because His message had authority.
33In the synagogue was a man who had an unclean demonic spirit, and he cried out with a loud voice,
34“Ah! What have we to do with You, Yeshua of Natzeret? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are! You are the Holy One of God!”
35Yeshua rebuked him, saying, “Quiet! Come out of him!” And when the demon threw him down in their midst, it came out without hurting him.
36They were all amazed, and they spoke to one another, saying, “What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
37So His reputation grew, spreading to every place in that region.
38After He left the synagogue, Yeshua entered Simon’s home. Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they petitioned Him concerning her.
39Then standing over her, He rebuked the fever and it left her. Immediately she arose to wait on them.
40When the sun was setting, they brought to Yeshua all who were sick with various diseases. And He was laying hands on each one and healing them.
41Even demons were coming out from many, shouting out and saying, “You are Ben-Elohim!” But He was rebuking them and not permitting them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Messiah.
42Now when it was day, He left and went to a desert place. The crowds were searching for Him, and they came to Him and were trying to keep Him from leaving them.
43But He said to them, “I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns also. It was for this purpose I was sent.”
44So He kept preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
–from Luke 4