NSA – Morning Prayer Service – Exhortation 1 Kings 3:1-15 – 08/28/2013
In our Old Testament lesson God asks Solomon, the new king of Israel, what he wishes. Instead of seeking great riches, honor in the defeat of enemies, or a long life, Solomon seeks the kingdom of God first, and His righteousness (justice) in the world. He wants to know how to deal justly with the people of Israel. God, very pleased, grants him this request, and even the things he didn’t ask for: riches, honor, and long life, provided he walks in God’s ways.
Making lots of money, being famous, and living a long life are at the top of the list of things to pursue in every culture (not just ours). Understood properly there is nothing inherently wrong with riches, honor, and life (God does grant these things to Solomon), yet the priority that God is pleased with is bringing about His justice and His way of life in the world.
Certainly Solomon had a unique role in the kingdom of God, but Jesus demands the same kingdom-desire for your various stations in life. Even greater than Solomon, the resurrected and ascended Son has inaugurated a better City. A City filled with new creatures, empowered by the Spirit of Christ, who seek to bring about and live out God’s justice and life-giving way. Jesus tells you not to seek honor before men. He tells you not to seek mammon or even be worried about what you will wear or reap this year. Likewise, he tells you “do not worry about tomorrow” and “who can add a single hour to his life by worrying”. Instead, He calls you to seek His kingdom first and His righteousness, (His kingdom justice) in other words His Sermon on the Mount way of life. And like Solomon, He promises all these things will be added unto you. God is a gracious and loving Father, will he not take care of your needs?
So I exhort you to ask the God of all wisdom, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, “How do you love that annoying classmate who always makes you so angry?”, “Where can you cut yourself off from opportunities to commit adultery in your heart?”, “How can you serve those who are poor?” “Where can you bring God’s life-giving Word to people who aren’t in your bubble?” in short, “God grant us wisdom to do your will on earth as it is in heaven.” In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.