IKings 3:5-15: Here we see a prayer of King Solomon. V.6,7. Look at his humility and brokenness of heart. We see Jeremiah, saying words similar to these. He said, 'Ah Lord God I cannot speak, for I am a child' Solomon says, 'I am a child and know not how to go out and come in.' This is very extraordinary. Who does not know how to go out and come in? This is the condition of a child. The king says, "How can I judge this people? They are a great people."
During the recent meetings in Akividu, we told the truth very plainly. It was a large crowd, but we wanted depth. Depth and brokenness of heart are needed. Two of the leading evangelists made humble confessions. The work done had been greatly handicapped because of the bad example of these leaders. Even if you are uneducated, it is easy to become very proud when you have some gift. The educated as well as the uneducated are prone to pride. It is the wickedness of the heart that produces this state of pride. How plainly this king tells his need!
Today when a Bishop's place falls vacant, we see so many people contesting for it. This shows lack of spirituality. What is the work of a Bishop? Without spirituality, to run a church is one of the hardest and most heart-breaking of jobs. Yet for salary or importance, people rush into it. But here Solomon knows that without spiritual understanding he cannot carry out his responsibility. This is not an easy undertaking. There is a great responsibility upon us. I approach this work with a feeling that I am incompetent.
Now, there are two types among the men of the Bible and the saints. Most of them began with a broken heart. But as they went forward, they divided into two streams. Let us take Paul as an instance. He maintained the brokenness of heart to the end. "I count all things as loss that I might win Christ," he said. (Phil 3:8-10) He had been dealt many stripes and yet he wanted to enter into Christ's suffering. "I press towards the mark. This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind ... " are the attitudes he had. Paul belongs to the first stream. Old weaknesses may surface, but we go forward. Solomon began the race and he began it well. The prayer of Solomon greatly pleased the Lord because he asked for discernment. He states his condition was that of a child. In his prayer, he went well ahead of ordinary people's prayer. Generally people pray for wealth, healing, promotion in job.
It pleased God that Solomon did not ask for riches. Then we pray to God to rid us of our enemies. Solomon did not even ask for that. Many people spend a major part of their prayer asking for one of these things. "Give me health, wealth, promotion and honour. Save me from the pinpricks of life" and so on. Solomon soared high above these prayers. He asked that he may be able to discern between good and evil. God was pleased. Then we see his sacrifices. (1Kings 8:6) His offering was so much that the altar could not hold it. I don't know of any other situation like this in Scripture. We see the wonderful sacrifice of Abraham in Isaac; it contained his all. Isaac could have run away but he also submitted himself.
I wonder if our altars have ever been too small. We see two great things in Solomon. His brokenness and then his altar became too small - not because it was small in size, but his offerings overflowed it. His prayer and offerings pleased the Lord. Our offerings are very often only able to fill a corner of the altar. God heard his prayer and later He again spoke and gave him a warning. (1 Kings 9:2) Only twice, and we don't hear of God appearing to him again. We need revelation and increasing revelation. In verses 4-7, God gives a warning. The words “I will cast this temple out of my sight,” appear there.