Category Archives: I Kings

What do you really want from God?

“May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors.”  1 Kings 8:58.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, and Romans 3.

I am into my sixth year of reading through the Bible each year.  Despite the previous five trips through, I have just now discovered Solomon.

Several days ago Solomon became a top-notch role model for me.  He chose discernment and an awareness of right and wrong, when God asked him what He could do for him.  The best part of all was God’s reaction to Solomon’s request: “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” – 1 Kings 3:10.

I have thought a lot since then about why God was so pleased with Solomon’s request.  I think it was because Solomon was asking for the tools that would help to make him a Godly man.  Those are things God wants to give each of us, including me.

Each of us can ask God for whatever we want Him to give us.  However, I know now from the Solomon example the kind of request God honors and is pleased with.

More of Solomon’s good requests in today’s chosen verse.  Solomon is now asking that God to keep him doing what he should do.  To get the choices of his life right before God.

We all need that.  I want God to “turn” me when I’m misdirected.  I want God to get my attention when I am messing things up.  My Godliness is so limited.  I demand His guidance.

“Lord, thank You for Solomon’s good examples.  I beg for your discernment this day.  Help me to get right and wrong right.  Turn me from my wicked ways.  I love You, Father.”

Are you praying for things you think you need or what God knows you need?

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Why did Solomon get what he asked for?

“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.”  1 Kings 4:29.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 4-5, 2 Chronicles 2, Psalm 101, and 2 Thessalonians 3.

God asked, Solomon responded, and God gave.

If you recall, Solomon could have requested anything when God asked him what he wanted.  Not that he would have gotten an outlandish request but Solomon could have asked for such a thing.

However, Solomon’s request pleased the Lord (1 Kings 3:10) so you can be sure that it was a good one.

What did Solomon ask for?  In my lingo: “I want to be the best manager of Your people possible and have the ability to get right and wrong right.”

I believe that to a much lesser scale we can make the same request.  What would it look like?  “I want to live my life in as Godly a fashion including knowing/doing the right thing in every circumstance.”

As the woman willing to accept the crumbs off the table in the New Testament story, I believe that the Lord would honor such a “lesser scale” request and even be pleased with it.

Note in today’s chosen verse that Solomon got the heaviest dose imaginable of God’s wisdom.  God wants us to communicate with Him.  He hears us.  He honors requests.  Will we ask?

“Lord, I ask for Your guidance as I set out on this day.  I want to get things right and I request Your help to do it.  Fill me with You and Your Ways.  Forgive me of my pride and selfishness and all the other things in my life that keep me from following You as I should.  Break me of them, I beg.  You are a great God!”

Solomon asked for what God wanted to give him.

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Asking right

“’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?’  The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.”  1 Kings 3:9-10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 3, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 78, and 2 Thessalonians 2.

Did you ever get a request turned down?  It happens to kids all the time.  Adults tend to think through requests before offering them.

Solomon was given the opportunity by God to ask for whatever he wanted.  Solomon became role-model material by his response.

Remember that he could ask for anything!

Solomon chooses wisdom.  He wants to know what he, as the leader, should do.

And God was delighted by such a request.  Why?  Because the request wasn’t a selfish one.  It was practical.  It was worthwhile.  It would benefit others.

Believers ask God for a lot of things.  How many of the requests are selfish?  We have needs and we ask for God’s help in meeting them.

How often do we ask for things that won’t benefit us if they are granted?

How often do we ask for wisdom?  For help in getting decisions right?  Our tendency is to decide, in our wisdom, what should happen and then invite God to get involved making it happen.  That’s wrong!

“Lord, You know best.  I therefore ask for Your insights as I travel through the uncertainties of this day.  I will surely mess things up and have.  I must have Your wisdom.  You were pleased with Solomon’s request.  I make the same one for myself asking that I would be filled with Your Wisdom this day.  I love You, Father.”

I believe that we can/should ask for what Solomon asked for.

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Before you do anything…..

“First seek the counsel of the Lord.” 1 Kings 22:5

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 22 & 2 Chronicles 18-19 & Colossians 4)

Let’s not get the cart before the horse!

Jehoshaphat gives Ahab some sound advice. Ahab is all set to take some significant action and wants Jehoshaphat to join him. Jehoshaphat is willing but wants them to seek God before they do anything.

How easy it is to avoid seeking God’s counsel before doing something.

The usual tact is to set out on something and then ask God to bless me. That approach is backwards.

My relationship with God must be up-to-date and ongoing ahead. If I walk closely with Him I will know His will better. I will know what He likes and what He dislikes.

What better arrangement for me than to know that I’m in His will? None, for sure.

Sometimes God’s counsel will be voiced to me by others. He does speak through other people. Am I willing to listen to others? I had better be.

In the Ahab story a prophet comes and tells Ahab that his invasion will be a failure. Ahab refuses to listen to him and later suffers fatal consequences. The same can be true for me. When I opt to disobey God I had better be ready for dire consequences.

“Lord, I need You all the time. You are my God. There is no other. I long to know Your Will. I long to be on the path that You want me on. I want to be doing what You want me to be doing. Help me, Father. I commit to You. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

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Maybe your god is on vacation

“’Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’” 1 Kings 18:27

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 17-19 & Colossians 2)

Didn’t Elijah have fun!

He absolutely ridicules the prophets of Baal. You couldn’t mock them any worse than he did.

But here we are these days strongly attached to gods other than God. We cling to them and expect them to function as a real God. But they can’t and if only someone would mock them, as Elijah did, maybe we would see them for what they really are.

Where is my trust? When the going gets tough, where am I going?

I need to completely depend on God in all situations. He is the God over everything. He wants me to love Him enough to trust Him with all my life.

There should not be some sort of line that I cross in which now I will bring God into something. He needs to be with me full-time. Will I totally commit to Him?

I believe that God is well aware of my part-time allegiance to Him. He knows when I choose to go it alone. When my confidence is in me……..not Him. Why would I ever knowingly put myself in that position?

“Lord, You are my one and only God. All the counterfeit gods that I give footholds to need to be mocked out of existence. They need to be consumed as the sacrifices on Elijah’s altar were. Open my eyes and ears to You and You only. I love You, Father.”

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For David’s sake…..

Sunrise today along the Merrimack River.

Sunrise today along the Merrimack River.

“Nevertheless, for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong.” 1 Kings 15:4

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 15 & 2 Chronicles 13-14 & Philippians 4)

There are numerous Old Testament Scriptures about things going “to the next generation.” Here is another one.

David was close to God. God made promises to him and now those promises are being carried out.

Abijam, and other David descendants, had little regard for God. They angered Him. They displeased Him. God could have wiped them out in a heartbeat. But He didn’t. Why? Because of His promises to David. Because He loved David. Because David, for the most part, was obedient to Him.

There is something for me in this story. My life for God now can impact the generations after me. I will be long gone but my life now can influence the future.

I have been praying regularly for my family. Some love God while others are uninterested in God. I ask God to intervene in all their lives without having any sense of how God will “intervene.” That “intervention” could well happen after I’m gone. Doesn’t make a bit of difference to me. There may be times where lives are spared or wrong roads recognized and it will be the God of the next generation doing it.

My task is to be Godly now. To do what He wants me to do in the midst that He has me in. I know that God is where my family is. I do not have to dispatch Him to them. He knows them. He knows what they need. In prayer I join Him in their midst knowing that He knows what they need. He is able to break through resistance to Him. I can’t make that happen so I ask Him to intervene for me knowing that during my earthly time it may not happen. But if I believe the Old Testament to be true then I know that God can reach to my next generation. Hallelujah!

“Lord, You are a great God. There is no way I can understand You. You love me and You love my family. Your reach is beyond the present. You know the future. I cling to the thought that You can reach beyond me to my family. You also can do that reaching at Your good pleasure. Your timing is mandatory. Help me to trust You. Help me to be confident in You. I praise You, Father.”

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Why is this happening to me?

"The heavens declare....."

“The heavens declare…..”

“Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshipping and serving them – that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.” 1 Kings 9:9

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 9 & 2 Chronicles 8 & Psalm 136 & Romans 5)

Solomon gets a lesson on why things happen.

Things were different in Old Testament times. A select group of people (Israelites) were God’s people. Non-Israelites were on the outside looking in.

God loved His people but He was not above punishing them for their misdeeds. But His love was stronger than His justice and if they would turn from their wicked ways He would “heal their lands,” and restore them to Himself.

Now God’s people are from every group and country. No country gets His special blessing and/or judgment. Those who love Him are His people no matter where they live.

Disasters are now likely to be individual in nature. There also is the possibility that a disaster strikes a country or a region and there are believers and non-believers in those places. It rains on the just and the unjust.

Individually, I believe that I can bring God’s wrath on myself but how I live. If I claim to be controlled by Him and do not act accordingly, I believe that God has His ways of bringing my waywardness to my attention. I also think that God tests those He loves to help the believer reach out for Him instead of counterfeit gods.

God has done great things for me. He saved me from the after-life that my sins warranted by having Jesus cover the consequences of my sins in His death. What assurance that realization is!

“Lord, I love You. Forgive me for straying from You. Prick my conscience when I am wrong so that I can make adjustments in a Godly way. You are so patient with me. Fill my life with Your Holy Spirit, I beg.”


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God is attentive

Sunset on May 21st along the Merrimack River

Sunset on May 21st along the Merrimack River

“You give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God.” 1 Kings 8:28

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 8 & 2 Chronicles 5 & Psalm 99 & Romans 3)

Solomon is so grateful to God in this verse. God has blessed him and provided more for him than he can imagine. The temple is finished and God’s glory is in it.

I must realize that God is attentive to me too. I am not in a waiting line, hoping for an audience. He hears me WHEN I call.

You could imagine that God would get too busy with so many believers worldwide trying to interact with Him. “He will not grow tired and weary.”

My interactions with Him can be constant. I want Him onboard before I set out to sea. I don’t want Him on the shore getting further away instead of closer. I need Him with me……….end of story!

Solomon describes himself as a servant. Solomon was the richest of the rich and the most powerful of the powerful yet he realized that God was greater. He realized that he had gotten to where he was because God had engineered it. Good lesson for me: Everything I have is a gift of God. How frequently I forget the Source of my good things.

“Thank You for Solomon’s example. I am the least of the least. I have nothing good that isn’t a gift from You. I trust You with my present and my future. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

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God being God

“I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”  1 Kings 17:4

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 17-19 & Colossians 2)

Another example in this verse of God being God.

There are plenty of examples of God doing remarkable things.  In this case, God has ravens doing a job for Him.  They are taking care of Elijah.

God knows my needs.  Do I realize that?

Am I appreciative of what He does for me?  Do I know that the water I drink comes from Him?  Am I aware that the food I have has come from Him?

My trust must be completely in Him.  I must never rely on myself.

God loves me.  What a wonderful thought!

Am I willing to commit myself to His care?

“Lord, I need You every second.  Thank You for the OT stories about Your remarkable provisions for Your people.  Thank You for taking care of me.  I praise Your Name.  Help me to be mindful of You at all times.  You will never leave me.  Thank You, Father, for that.”

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They brought this on themselves

“Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them – that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them.”  1 Kings 9:9

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – 1 Kings 9 & 2 Chronicles 8 & Psalm 136 & Romans 5)

God is a jealous God.  I either serve Him or I don’t.

I am incapable of living a Godly life apart from Him.

It is not that I don’t know His Will; it’s just that I am a sinner.  When my relationship with God is shallow, then I am prone to hear/obey other voices.

The consequences of living an ungodly life are severe as the Israelites found out in the Old Testament.

I must align myself to Him full-time.

His Words must be my words.  His Thoughts must be my thoughts.

The most important part is having an on-going relationship with God.  That temporary stuff has to end.

“O Lord, I am weak.  You are strong.  I need Your Power within me every second.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.  Alert me when I slide out of step so that I can make corrections.  Show me Your Ways, O Lord.  Teach me Your Will.”


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