5/28/16: What Will You Ask?

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In Disney’s animated feature Aladdin, the main character chances upon a genie in a bottle. As thanks for its release, the genie tells Aladdin, “Three wishes, to be exact. And ixnay on the wishing for more wishes. That’s all. Three. Uno, dos, tres. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds.” Aladdin also cannot ask to bring anyone back from the dead. Then with the rules clear, Aladdin begins his quest with the genie right by his side.

You’ll have to watch the movie to see what happens with Aladdin. The point of this devotion is the idea of knowing what to ask. Solomon was faced with this decision when he began his reign as king over God’s people. God simply said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?” 1 Kings 3:5b (NKJ). Solomon answered, “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” I Kings 3:7-9 (NKJ).

An understanding heart. Wow. Of all the things Solomon could have asked God for, he asked for an understanding heart. God was so pleased with Solomon’s sensible request, that He granted not only wisdom, but riches, honor, and a long life as well. (See verses 13-14).

Upon hearing about the genie-in-the-bottle scenario, we may wish we had a chance to request almost anything at all in the world for ourselves. We can probably think of lots of stuff we think we want, but what do we really need? God is not a genie in a bottle, but as with Solomon, He has granted us permission to ask of Him. Be encouraged by these invitations:

  •  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)
  • For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:18 (NKJ)
  • Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 (NKJ)
  • And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13 (NKJ)
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7 (NKJ)
  • If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6 (NKJ)
  • And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. I John 3:22 (NKJ)
  • Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. I John 5:14-15 (NKJ)

Reflect upon the nature of Solomon’s request and God’s response to it. Now that you know God’s invited you to ask of Him, what will your requests be?

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©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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One Response to “5/28/16: What Will You Ask?”

  1. On first inspection, Solomon asked for a wonderful character trait: wisdom. As you stated, this pleased God dramatically so that He gave Solomon riches and honor. But, what happened? Solomon started with great genuine reverence for God and a deep heartfelt desire to worship God.He even completed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem for the people to worship their God!

    Later in his life, for unknown reasons, Solomon chose to marry multitudes of wives and retained hundreds more as concubines. Unfortunately, his wives and concubines worshiped many gods and did not submit to YHWH the one true God of Israel. The result was a chaotic mess for Israel in which two of Solomon’s sons split Israel into a northern kingdom (Israel) and a southern kingdom (Judea). The northern kingdom became especially weak when attacked by outside armies while Judea remained committed to YHWH and was politically and militarily very stable for almost 500 years.

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