Getting More Than Expected - LetterPile - Writing and Literature
Updated date:

Getting More Than Expected

Author:

Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more

getting-more-than-expected

“You should not expect much in life, but when much comes your way, accept and appreciate it and progress” is a common quote from a PhD holder.

The people of the world could hardly offer more than a person asks from them, and if anything, they would offer less.

The article is based on the fourth King in Israel (considering that Ishbosheth also reigned for two years) (2 Sam. 2:10) and the person was King Solomon.

King Solomon in Brief

He was given birth to in Jerusalem in the year 990 BCE and died in 931 BCE in between the ages of 58 and 59. His father was King David while his mother was Bathsheba.

Online Wikipedia says Solomon in Hebrew is “שׁלמה” Shlomoh and he is also called Jedidiah which is written in Hebrew as “יְדִידְיָהּ”, Yedidyah. He was a fabulously wealthy and wise king of the United Kingdom of Israel. He succeeded his father, King David. The period of his reign was 970-931 BCE.

In Talmud he is considered as one of the 48 prophets while Quran sees him as a major prophet and called him Sulayman.

The Romanized form of his name is shelômôh, pronounced as shel-o-mo', which means peaceful. It will not surprise us to notice that during his days’, peace reign in the land according to his name.

He performed brilliantly initially in the land such that God gives him a Carte Blanche (which means unlimited discretionary power to act; unrestricted authority) asks him to ask of anything he wants. It is this unrestricted authority given him by Yahweh that I want to write on in this article.

Incidents Preceding the Carte Blanche

What I want us to see about him would be found in the book of first King chapter three verse 5 and second chronicles chapter 1:7-12. However, as a means of bringing you up to speed about what happened before the verse that I like to expatiate on, I will say few things about the preceding verses. And for better understanding salient things related to the carte-blanche.

1. His Marriage to Pharaoh’s Daughter

However, for the purpose of this article I will leave what was documented in the first verse of chapter three of the book of the first Kings. What happened in the first verse was his marriage to an Egyptian woman and the daughter of Pharaoh King of Egypt. This would later affect his relationship with God.

And Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about. (1 Ki 3:1)

At this time, he still considers himself naïve and young and thus did not allow his marriage with the woman to come in between him and his God.

The basis there is you either change the unbeliever to the way of your God or the unbeliever changes you to the way of his gods.

However, in their case, Israelites, they have been warned by God not to marry from those surrounding them because they would lead them away from him.

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deu 7:3-4)

getting-more-than-expected

2. Place of Sacrifice

People were still sacrificing at the high places during this time. The high places often are associated with sacrifices to idols and other gods. But during this time, it is said that no house has been built for the name of the Lord.

Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days. (1 Ki 3:2)

However, e-Sword in her commentary of this still says, it is wrong because sacrifices ought not to be offered at any place but where the tabernacle and ark were and during this time, tabernacle was at Gibeon (2 Ch 1:3) and the place is called the great high place.

3. He Joined the Multitude

Prophet Moses while talking to the Israelis in Exodus 23:2 says, they should not follow multitude to do evil, they shouldn’t follow multitude to do what God does not sanctioned. However, from the word read in verse 3 of the book under focus it is logical to say that King Solomon eventually joined the multitude to offer sacrifices on the high places. Though, despite this, God still considers his heart to be right with him as the author says,

And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. (1 Ki 3:3)

Why he did follow them to offer sacrifice at the place is uncertain, however like an author says of this place that he may have been influenced by his wedding to an alien to go and worship there, because she also worships other gods apart from Yahweh which she has in mind to pull her husband into later which she eventually did.

When he was sacrificing here, we shall however, notice an important thing and it is that God does not enter serious agreement with him while offering there alongside with others and he would make appreciable contract with him when he went to the right place to offer his sacrifice unto him there.

We sometimes also joined people to do as they are doing, and this may be the reason why some of our prayers are still to be answered. God though sees our hearts as he saw the heart of king Solomon that he loves him and was following his statutes, but he did not enter serious contract with him until he did it the right way. Until we do what the Lord wants, until we satisfy his laid down rules, he may not enter serious contract with us.

4. Goes to the Ordained Place

For whatsoever reasons not stated here, King Solomon retraces his steps, perhaps he has been following others to sacrifice at the high place because of the wife he married which would of course have influence on his decision. But when he wants to make appreciable decision, he went to Gibeon where the ark of covenant is and the location of the tabernacle.

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. (1 Ki 3:4)

His movement to the place may have been orchestrated by the high priests and prophets during those times that he must do it the right way telling him what happened to his father when he failed to carry the ark the right way.

He listened to the word of wisdom and reasoning and went with others to Gibeon to offer sacrifice acceptable sacrifice unto the Lord there.

We are enjoined as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, today to equally offer our lives unto God as a living sacrifice for this is the appreciable sacrifice and the acceptable one before the Lord our God.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1)

5. On the Carte-Blanche

The fifth verse which I hope to dwell on shows us that the man was given the carte-blanche here.

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, ask what I shall give thee. (1 Ki 3:5)

It will augur well if we shall know some things about this, to have in-depth knowledge about this and or to add to the knowledge we already have on this.

getting-more-than-expected

(a) Who Gave Him the Carte-Blanche?

In this part of the world where so many people hide under the subterfuge of lies to say God gave them something whereas in the real sense it was the devil who has given them the thing, that is why I seemly find it fit to say here that we need to know the person who gave him the carte-blanche lest we misappropriate it, lest some people hide under subterfuge of lies again.

In the same wise we shall equally discover that the author of the book did not leave us in the doubt as per knowing the person who offered him the carte-blanche he stated it in unmistaken terms that it was God who gave it to him.

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, ask what I shall give thee. (1 Ki 3:5)

This has to be because we have seen people go to herbalist houses to obtain power and they will be saying it is Jesus power they were using, little wonder that the Apostle Peter and other apostles in the scriptures say that false prophets shall arise in the last days, thence we should beware of them and their professed miracles. (2 Pet 2)

This means of getting it at all cost also transcends all facets of human endeavors as some people’s businesses, academics etc. are thriving because of the hidden powers they have obtained from the devil, but since such power could not be revealed, and they are being hidden under Jesus name, we assume they also are from Jehovah. We should beware we have been counseled.

A business friend now residing in Dubai told me before he traveled out that some people of a truth do not know that it is strange power but not the power of God that is bringing them their prosperity because they are not directly involved in it, it is their wives or parents who have done that on their behalf. Thus, they started prospering and they will be looking down on those struggling saying terrible things against them that they are failures, that is not their ways or that they may have committed sins as friends of Job said unto him during his travails.

(b) Where He was given the Carte-Blanche

Previously I have stated that the King moved from high places which was not the place ordained by God for the Israelis to be offering sacrifices unto the Lord to where he has ordained to be offering sacrifices unto him which was Gibeon.

This expressly talks to us that God expects us to move out of our nonchalant attitudes to being serious about him and the Gospel. We have dwelt too long in the position of our nonchalant attitude, he is considering and beseeching us to leave the place as Deborah beseeched the Reubenites. (Jdg 5:16)

The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: (Deu 1:6)

Poll 1 Dream

(c) When was he Given?

He was given the carte-blanche in the night, he wasn’t given during the daylight. It should be noted that there is not time that God cannot work, because he neither sleeps nor slumbers. (Psa 121:4)

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, ask what I shall give thee. (1 Ki 3:5)

(d) How He was Given

By dreams, when he was unconscious of what is happening around in the physical realm. Revelation through dreams was a common feature of the Old Testament days.

Benson in his commentary says of this that sleep is like a state of death, to the soul, whence the senses are locked, the understanding and the will deprived of the free exercise of their functions.

Ellicott however says of this (dream) that it is a lower form of God talking to people and it is common to those people who are outside the covenant, vision which occurs when one is awake is higher than dream. For example, Abimelech, Laban, Pharaoh and his servants. (Gen 20:3-7; 31:24; 40:5; 41:1-8)

This dream is a special kind of dream and it has strong impressions on his heart when he woke up. When we have a dream like this, special kind of dream that has to do with our lives and futures God would through the spirit in us imprints it in our hearts as to find meanings to it, assuming we do not know the meaning and if forgotten as it happened unto Nebuchadnezzar, (Dan. 2) we shall be searching our brains to seek to know and asking the Lord to bring those back to our memories, our consciousness.

But in this case, it was nay hidden for he knew the meaning and the transaction that took place in the realm of the unknown.

Poll 2: Special

getting-more-than-expected

How do we Know he Knows?

We know he knows about this dream and its understanding because he was the one who divulged what he dreamt of to the people. If he has not divulged it to people, there is no way that it would have been documented, for even if it was revealed to prophets of old, they would still confront him of the need to tell them of a truth that he had that kind of interaction with Yahweh in his dreams.

Brent A. Strawn in his comment of this says he must have divulged the dream to people, most especially his servants because as a child, youth whom he was then, he needs to let people know that God has approved his rulership over the people of Israel. In those days, and now according to the people who live in the Orients dream is a way of confirmation of interaction with God, confirmation of Kingship.

It was said of Thothmes IV at the sphinx at Giza that he dreamt that his election was by the gods to the kingship even before he was given birth to, and they assured him that they will continue with him into his reign.

(e) Why was he Given?

Some of the reasons that we could say prompted God to given him the carte-blanche are as follow:

(i) Yielding to Counsel

Having seen that he has followed the right path of doing things as being explained to him by his priests and prophets, and because he (God) knows that his heart has been in tune with him he decided to give him the carte-blanche. When we yield to God’s counsel, he will also yield to us as he says turn to me, and I will turn to you. (Jer 31:18)

(ii) His Ceaseless Request

Some writers opined that he was given the carte-blanche because it has been his desire since the time, he ascended to the throne that God should bless him with wisdom. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown says, it has been his daily practice to ask for wisdom from Yahweh.

When we are asking of something from God, we should be making it a resolute decision a daily practice to show our seriousness. I used to tell my brethren that what you asked from God and you forget asking such from him how do you want God to know you are serious about what you are asking? Consider this, if your children or friend ask of something from you and he couldn’t remember what they or he has ask from you will you consider the ask a serious one? Will you go ahead and grant the petition? That is how it is if anyone asks of something from God and the person couldn’t recall what he has asked from the Lord again, it imperatively shows that the person is not serious about the thing he asked from God such a thing is not paramount in his or her heart, it is not her heartfelt desire, maybe he sees someone asking for it and he asks or maybe because such a prayer is being uttered by a leader in a service and he prayed it but it was not deeply sited in his heart as something to be desired for neither asked for.

(iii) Prayed About it

The kind of offering he offered in verse four unto the Lord was said to be dedication and atonement offering as stated in Leviticus chapter one. The peace offering being the offering of acceptability and wellbeing, thanksgiving and atonement (Lev 7:11-21)

And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. (1 Ki 3:4)

Those kinds of offering do not show that he prayed unto the Lord.

However, in the book of Wisdom 7:7 it is stated that, “Solomon had earnestly prayed the day before and desired gift of wisdom”. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown says his dream was imaginary repetition of his former desire, but God grants was real.

Whenever we prayed, God has promised to hear and answer us when we pray from the deepest part of our hearts and we are sincere on what we prayed about.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jer 33:3)

Poll 3: Prayed

You cannot keep revolving about a focus saying God understands everything. You must pray and commit it into the hands of the Lord. Oh, yeah, he understands all, but he still expects you as a child to his parents to talk it over with him in prayers.

(f) At What Age was he Given the Carte Blanche?

If the man died at the age of 58 or 59 years according to Wikipedia and other documents about the king, it shows that the king started to reign at a tender age and by the time he was given this carte-blanche by God he was likely to be in between 18 and twenty years of age, because he reigned for 40 years in the land. (1 Ki 11:42)

Poll 4: Last time

(g) His Response

Though in the position of unconsciousness, yet his spiritual person was awakened to what was being asked and he replied the person, whom he recognizes to be a Yahweh, of what his desire was that he does for him.

getting-more-than-expected

(1) Uncommon Grace

We shall see from what transpired between the young man and Yahweh that he experienced an uncommon grace from the Lord. Even his father whom the Lord says was a man after his heart never had direct contact with God as seeing God in his dreams, but he experienced this and saw God in his dreams. He had direct contact with God.

(2) Started From God Ends With God:

He started his response from God who has given him the Carte-blanche and ends his response with him. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed…” (1 Ki 3:6a)

(3) He Linked His Father in His Response

While replying God, he did not answer directly but he started by linking his father to what he wants to ask from God.

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. (1 Ki 3:6)

He knows that ordinarily that position would not have been his’ but because of the love of God for his father that was why he released the position to him, thence he brought the covenant he had with his father into the scene of the reply.

Many of the things happening in the world are happening because many people do not know how to talk, they do not have wisdom of replying their subjects or superiors. Ditto for many homes, and instead of putting out the fire, the reply would fuel the fire the more. Bible says, a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. (Pro 15:1)

(4) His Brother’s Position

He bears in mind the position of his brethren especially Adonijah who had thought the position belongs to him while replying God, because he has been kept in a tight position, and everyone is seeking for how he will perform on the throne. He cannot fail those who have stuck out their necks for him as the one that should ascend the throne.

getting-more-than-expected

(5) His Age

He has over the time been thinking about his age, and that was why he has been praying for wisdom from God. He thought about his age, knowing full well that he is a youth, a youth to be controlling people who are his father’s age mates and perhaps those who are older than his father. He considers it vast and would need divine assistance for him to success in that position.

(6) His Inexperience Brought into Fore

He brought his inexperience into fore while replying God. A youth who has just married and maybe his wife has not even put to bed, a youth who has no experience of war as others have had, but who fate has placed in position of authority for then, King combines these roles: Judge, Ruler and Captain. He sees those roles as vast which requires more than human power to succeed thereby and coupled with his inexperience status, he couldn’t have asked for other things other than fitting into the profile perfectly well.

And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in (1 Ki 3:7)

How good will it be if all our leaders, either spiritual or physical could be asking for wisdom of leadership from God?

(7) Do not Toe Path of Many Youths

He did not toe the line of youths in replying the Lord. Because youths often feel overconfident at their age and would believe they would surpass their fathers’ when they get to their stage. He wasn’t over-confident but sees himself as a person who knows nothing.

MacLaren says “he who tells God his consciousness of impotence, asks him to supply his strength to its weaknesses and his wisdom to its inexperience, will never evade work because its too countless nor ever fail to find power according to his needs”.

(8) Let God Know Those He Govern

He tells God those he governs that they are his people, they are neither his children nor his slaves but the people whom he has chosen by himself to be called their God.

And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. (1 Ki 3:8)

(9) His Request

Having said all those, he told God that what he wants is simple and straightforward and it is wisdom and understanding to judge his people right so that he will not miss his steps.

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? (1 Ki 3:9)

He made the right choice after the end of his talking and this was shown in what is said to be the position of the Lord to his request, for it is written that the Lord was pleased.

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. (1 Ki 3:10)

getting-more-than-expected

(h) God’s Response

Having been satisfied with what he asks for from him he also replied of what his position is and how he would go about it. Brent A. Strawn says, as he reminds God of his father, God also reminds him of his father in the response. While MacLaren says of this response that it could be divided into two parts: the reasons for large gift and the details of the response.

1. The Unlimited God

Some scholars opined that, Jehovah was the one who appeared unto him here while Elohim was the one who talked with him in the dream because of the Hebrew words used in the verses.

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, ask what I shall give thee. (1 Ki 3:5)

The Lord here in Hebrew is “יהוה”, Romanized form is yehôvâh (pronounced as yeh-ho-vaw') which means Jehovah.

And God said unto him, because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; (1 Ki 3:11)

However, in thie verse, God here is written in Hebrew as “אלהים”, Romanized form is 'ĕlôhı̂ym (phonetic spelling is el-o-heem') which means supreme God.

2. Surprised God

His response was a surprise to God, because he did not ask the common things that the youths do ask for neither anyone at that, what he asks for shows deeper insight which perhaps was not expected of him at that moment.

And God said unto him, because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; (1 Ki 3:11)

We may say God cannot be surprised because he knows all things. I also believe that. But in some cases, when we say something that shows deeper knowledge that shows us as “god” as we have been called, God cannot but say, “wow!” this is wonderful. This is akin to what happened to Prophet Moses when God says he wants to destroy Israelites and would make him a nation instead. He pleaded with God not to do that and said God should consider what those nations would be sayings as if he, God, has not thought about that before. (Exo 32:10 ff)

So, such rare cases, such rare utterances usually move God to act, and he would act beyond our thoughts as he did act on Phinehas and entered covenant with him for what he did. (Num 25:11 see also Jer 35)

3. It’s Done

After the analysis he told him that he has done what he asked for and even more would be done for him.

Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (1 Ki 3:12)

4. The Addition

He added unto what has been released unto the king because he is God and all those things, he has in his possession he does not use any of those at heaven where he lives, those things are for us in the world.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. (1 KI 3:13)

From this it would not be surprising unto us that people of the world too could be very blessed, because there is no condition attached to this form of blessing unto him. However, the second additive to the blessing was with a condition which has been all, or none effect.

5. Condition Attached

The additional blessing is lengthening of days or long life. And this long life, Elohim told King Solomon that it is with a condition and the condition is walking in the ways of God as his father has done.

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (1 Ki 3:14)

Yes, we see believers today, those who are strong in faith and who are also ardent followers of the bible who die early, some may want to ask that does that mean that they were not following the bible? My response to that is that God cannot be blamed neither question for that, for he also said in some instances that the righteous are being taken before the evil days.

Isa 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (Isa 57:1)

Sometimes some of our loved ones who are fervent in the spirit and in the ways of God are taken off the world because of the evil to come, maybe God knows within him that those people would not be able to maintain their faith when left like that in the world. Though, we may be seeing them fervent and that they can in no wise fall, but even prophet Elijah when he saw what was terrible almost lost out. Are those people as fervent as Elijah the prophet? Thus, it may be the reason for their sudden removal from the world.

Having said this, let us return to what we are talking about here, Elohim promises to add unto King Solomon long life if he could continue to walk in his ways as his father has done and we shall see that he failed in this aspect and would not live long as he died at the age of 59 years.

getting-more-than-expected

(i) The Answer Manifested

We shall discover from the Holy writ that what he asked, and God’s response was granted because what followed afterwards show that.

An authentic message from the Lord received would always come to physical manifestation if it has not come to physical manifestation it may be that the time for its manifestation has not clicked or that it is false revelation and not from God. (Deu. 13)

King Solomon got more than what he asked for

because he seek the Lord and the Lord reveals himself unto him and answers his petition beyond his imaginations. God will also answer our requests beyond our imagination as the apostle says, now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Eph 3:20) if we can seek him, his power will work in us and through us to do beyond our expectations.

© 2020 OLUSEGUN