Related posts: Wondrous Things, Part II
I listened to an uplifting message this week about asking big! It was delivered by a well-known pastor whose congregation boasts fifty thousand. The message was inspirational and timely.
“God will move heaven and earth to bring about his destiny in your life!” proclaimed the pastor.
This was exactly what I needed to hear that morning.
I’ll return to that thought later, but first, the pastor’s message…
The pastor dared his listeners to ASK BIG of God [YHVH]! He referred to children who, on their birthday, expect their parents to get them what they ask. He encouraged his listeners to wake up in the morning like it’s their birthday, asking what they want. He told stories of everyday people who asked big and YHVH gave them more than they could imagine. He shared his personal story of how his ministry grew to mammoth size. He provided examples from the Bible, like Jabez who asked YHVH to expand his territory and keep him from harm (1 Chronicles 4:10).
The pastor also referred to King Solomon, whom he said prayed what seemed to be a very self-centered prayer. He said Solomon asked YHVH…
“…to make him well-known, that his fame would spread throughout the land, that wealth and honor of other nations would be brought to him, that kings and queens would bow down before him.”
The pastor continued that instead of rebuking Solomon and teaching him humility, YHVH did exactly what the king asked. Why? The pastor explained, because Solomon also prayed that if YHVH made his name famous and gave him influence and wealth, that he would use it to help the widows, take care of the orphans, to bring justice to the oppressed and to give a voice to those who don’t have any voice.
This sounds great! I’m ready to ASK BIG! Are you?!
But there’s one problem.
King Solomon did not ask for wealth, honor and influence. Solomon asked for wisdom and understanding so he could govern the people righteously.
7 That night Elohiym appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I should give you.” 8 Solomon said to Elohiym, “You have shown great and steadfast love to my father David, and have made me succeed him as king. 9 O Sovereign YHVH, let your promise to my father David now be fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?”
See also 1 Kings 3:5-9
So, where did the renowned pastor get his information?
The pastor quoted Psalms 72. The Psalm is too long to include in this post, so please follow the link or open your Bible to read it. When you read it, you will discover that the prayer the pastor references is not the prayer of King Solomon. It is the prayer of Solomon’s dad, King David!
1 Give the king [David] your justice, O Elohiym, and your righteousness to a king’s son [Solomon]…
20 The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.
Psalms 72:1, 20
In the verses between 1 and 20, David prays that YHVH would make his son “well-known, that his fame would spread throughout the land, that wealth and honor of other nations would be brought to him, that kings and queens would bow down before him.” [quoting the famous pastor]
The pastor is mistaken. Solomon did not pray this prayer for himself. King David asked YHVH to grant his son these wondrous things! YHVH fulfilled both prayers because Solomon showed his heart was for the people. If Solomon had asked for wealth, honor and influence, I do not believe YHVH would have granted it.
11 Elohiym answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”
See also 1 Kings 3:10-14
The opposite of what the pastor said is true. YHVH answered David’s prayer and gave Solomon wisdom as well as riches, possessions and honor — in measure like no king before or after him specifically because Solomon did not ask for these things.
Back to my earlier thought… This was exactly what I needed to hear that morning!
You see, I started the day consumed with myself. I sought the pastor because he is known for uplifting messages and I needed to be encouraged. What I learned–prompted by the pastor’s error, but elucidated through the word of YHVH–was not to ask big for myself.
Psalms 72 is an example of praying big, specific, wondrous blessings for our children, their character, and the impact they will make in the world. Psalms 72 reminds us to bless the name of who alone does these wondrous things! His name is YHVH!
Blessed be YHVH, the Elohiym of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.
Please read Part II of this post for insights on praying big, specific, wondrous prayers!