Explore the Bible Study: Granted

10:05 PM

Over the past several years, our country has experienced mass shootings, a rise in violent crimes, a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the death of our own soldiers in foreign conflicts, a pandemic, border issues, moral decay, blatant disregard for human life, natural disasters, and the rising cost of everything.  It’s during these times people look to leaders for decisions and actions. In return, these leaders should seek God in order to determine how to respond. The Explore the Bible Study: Granted, will focus on one leader who did seek God.

Imagine that you were the leader of our country. You felt the weight of responsibility on your shoulders because of all these events and you sought God. God responded by asking this question, “What should I give you?” How would you respond?

1 Kings reveals to us that King Solomon felt this weight when he became king of Israel. The responsibility of filling his father’s shoes and becoming the leader of the people of God was a heavy weight to bear, and he knew he needed to seek God for direction.

God Speaks When We Seek Him – 1 Kings 3:4-5

Notice that one thousand burnt offerings were brought. Additionally, we understand from other passages that many leaders were with Solomon. All this indicates that Solomon desired to hear from God and move forward with His guidance and blessing. He desired for this to not just be a private experience but a corporate experience for all the leaders of Israel to embrace.

What would go through your mind if God were to ask you, “What should I give you?” What would you ask for?

Responding to God Requires Humility – 1 Kings 3:6-9

Even though David committed grave sins, one of which resulted in Solomon being born, in the end, David’s heart had changed. David lived with a forgiven but broken and repentant heart because of his own personal sin of adultery, lying, murder, and pride. Additionally, he watched his family struggle because of sin, but, in the end, he was known as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22)

Solomon recognized and respected his earthly father because of his walk with the Lord. David’s transformed heart and life was what drove Solomon to desire to continue fulfilling God’s plan. He desired to honor God in how he led the people of God because of the trust God had placed in him. Little did Solomon know that God’s plan extended beyond Solomon, all the way to the birth of Jesus Christ!

Notice what Solomon asked for again:
  • A receptive heart to judge your people. This literally means a “listening heart.”  Solomon desired to issue decisions that reflected God’s character and justice, so he needed to listen well.
  • The ability to discern between good and evil. The king desired the ability to distinguish clearly between good and evil courses of action.

How would our country or churches be different if leaders sought this instead of power, fame, or financial success.

God Responds When We Seek Him with a Humble Heart – 1 Kings 3:10-15

God commended Solomon for the things he did not request. 

  • Solomon did not ask for long life. A king’s reign could be short-lived, particularly if a rival sensed weakness and decided to overthrow him.  
  • Solomon also had not asked for riches. Many kings accumulated much wealth, and Solomon might have desired wealth either for selfish means or to use it to bless others. Solomon recognized that other things were more important than riches.
  • Solomon had also not asked for the death of any enemies. Often when kings came to power, they put to death potential rivals, including the former king’s descendants. Even though Solomon had already put to death Adonijah, Joab, and Shimei, who had opposed either him or his father David, he did not ask God to kill other enemies. 

Then God gave Solomon what he requested. 

  • Solomon had asked for a listening heart, discernment, knowledge, and wisdom to lead God’s people, and God would give it to him so the world would know Solomon’s God was the true God.

Then God gave Solomon what he didn’t request! 

  • God stated He would bless Solomon materially and with a great reputation. He again affirmed no king will be your equal during your entire life. 

Finally, God issued Solomon a spiritual challenge. 

  • Walk in my ways and keep my statutes and commands just as your father David did. If Solomon maintained spiritual faithfulness, God assured him, I will give you a long life. God did give Solomon forty years as king over Israel (1 Kings 11:42). He promised to bless Solomon as long as Solomon aligned his heart with God’s purposes. Solomon could ensure that by following God’s statutes and commands faithfully.

How Would Your Respond?

The focus earlier was on leaders of our country and churches but what about you? How would you respond if God asked, “What should I give you?” 

What do you expect God to give you? Would you ask for what Solomon asked for?

How would your life change if you asked God to give you the things Solomon requested instead of some of the things you typically ask for? 

How would it impact how you lead your family, do your work, live in the community, or serve at church?

While Solomon began his reign demonstrating loyalty to God, in time, he began to follow the gods of his foreign wives. This should remind us that we can’t stop seeking God. We must always seek God, and He will speak. We should remain humble as we approach God with our requests. Finally, God will respond when we seek Him with a humble heart.

The downloadable teaching helps provide more details for this study, along with some tools you can use in guiding a group Bible study. Be sure to use this as a supplement to your study of the Explore the Bible Study resources provided by LifeWay.

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