14 And if you walk in obedience to Me and keep My decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life. 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.
1 Kings 3:41-43
Seldom do we read about dreams in the Bible, but here is one with some great detail. There are others, 98 instances in all in the NIV where dreams are mentioned. If you want to explore them go here. Notice the promise of a long life if you walk in obedience to Me and keep My decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life. Things didn’t work out so well at the end as Solomon’s father David died at approximately 70 years of age, while Solomon himself died at approximately 60 years of life.
But let us return to Solomon’s dream. How did it happen? Where did it happen? When did it happen? When is easy, shortly after Solomon became king after his father’s death. As for how and why, earlier in the chapter
4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 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.”
1 Kings 3:4-5
Imagine God comes to you in a dream, what are you going to say in the dream when He tells you Ask for whatever you want Me to give you. I can imagine all sorts of answers people might give, but for a young man 20 years old and a new king Solomon’s answer is really different from all that I might have imagined.
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.
7 “Now, 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. 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?”
1 Kings 3:6-9
First, in this dream, Solomon expresses great humility acknowledging God’s role in his father’s life and at this time calling himself a servant king. Then what did Solomon ask for? A discerning heart so he could govern properly able to distinguish between right and wrong. This answer in this dream greatly pleased God as it revealed a heart surrendered to God, and God wanted to work something in Solomon through this offer and his response (Guzik).
How pleased was God with Solomon’s request?
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
1 Kings 3:10-13
Wow. Who could ask for more? But remember our verse for the day just before Solomon woke up, God gave Solomon a conditional promise. And if you walk in obedience to Me and keep My decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life. Solomon started well, but did not end so well for when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David – 1 Kings 11:1-4 (Guzik).
With all that God has given to us through His Son Jesus Christ, how loyal do we remain? Do we let our hearts be turned to other Gods or idols in our lives? What do our lives show about our hearts?