1 Kings 3:5-15
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give you.…
Significant the familiar lines of Lowell —
Once, to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God.s new Messiah, offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand and the sheep upon the right
And the choice goes by for ever .twixt that darkness and that light.
And not once only, but many times does such choice come. For to live is to choose. Life is but a series of choices. Though just as the current of the river, notwithstanding refluent ripples, carries with it in one main direction the multitudinous drops of water which go to make the river, so in life one main and dominating choice gives impulse and direction to the ten thousand lesser choices with which the days are filled. I am appalled at this power of choice. I do not think any one in the least thoughtful can help being. I was looking through the glass sides of a beehive. All was orderly and unclashing; none of the pain and disturbance of errant and rebellious wills; each bee doing just as each bee should, just the thing each was designed to do. And I asked myself, Why did not God make men thus? Why did God put men among the crowding dangers of the retributive results of their bad choices? There are only two answers to such questions: God has not made men thus; if God had made men thus men would not be men. No; real and shadowing is the fact of choice. Our Scripture tells the story of a right choice.
I. WHAT SUCH RIGHT CHOICE INVOLVES.
1. Purpose of inward worth. Solomon prayed that he might have an "understanding heart." He wanted the real gold, not tinsel. That is a great and constant trouble, that men are so willing to seem to be rather than to be. Here is the precise reason for the defalcations which too often and so sadly startle the community.
2. Such true choice involves recognition of duty. Duty is the child of relation; is that which is due because of the relations in which one is set Godward, manward. The true choice involves recognition of the duties springing out of the relations in which one is bound.
3. Such true choice involves determination to practise along the line of duty; "that I may judge this people." As long as Solomon did this, how great and wise! But when he practised otherwise, how sad his fall l
4. Such true choice involves dependence on God. "Give, therefore, Thy servant an understanding heart." Solomon felt himself insufficient. He must have and hang on God.
II. IN WHAT SUCH RIGHT CHOICE RESULTS.
1. In pleasing God (ver. 10).
2. In Divine ratification (ver. 12).
3. In external prosperity (ver. 13).
4. In internal prosperity. Solomon, conscious of pleasing God, must have had peace and joy.
Parallel VersesKJV: In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.