OUR FATHER WHO GIVES WISDOM TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM FOR IT AND LONG LIFE TO THOSE WHO HONOR HIM
In the book of 1 Kings chapter 3 verse 14, we read the words that the Lord said to King Solomon, the son of David, in a dream;
And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
Leading up to this moment, Solomon had just taken up the throne of his father David over the kingdom of Israel. He went up to Gibeon to honor the Lord by carrying out sacrifices at the high places there.
While Solomon was at Gibeon, he had a dream in which the Lord invited him to ask for anything he wanted the Lord to give him.
Such an open-ended offer could potentially tempt a person to ask for riches or a long life but instead, Solomon asked for enough wisdom to enable him, as a youth, to carry out his duties as the new king of Israel.
Solomon's modest response pleased God and He granted him his request and because he did not ask for great riches and a long life, the Lord told Solomon that he would give him great wealth unequalled in his day.
The Lord also added to Solomon a long life but unlike the other two allotments of wisdom and riches, the gift of a long life was conditional.
If Solomon walked in obedience to the Lord and kept His decrees and commandments in the same way that his father David did, a long life would then be granted to him.
This conditional conferring of a long life mirrors the fifth commandment in the law of Moses in Exodus chapter 20 verse 5 which reads like this;
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
The fifth commandment adjures us to honor our father and mother because doing so would add to us a long life.
The condition on the offer given to Solomon appears to be based on the same principle found in the commandment.
If Solomon were to honor his father David by upholding the standards of uprightness that David lived by and if Solomon were to honor the Lord his father by obeying His decrees and commandments, a long life would be granted to him based on the principle set in the Law.
Joel chapter 4 verse 7 (in the Hebrew Bible) says this;
Behold I arouse them from the place where you sold them, and I will return your recompense upon your head.
The prophet Joel, writing of the nations who took Israel captive, sold her children into slavery, desecrated the temple at Jerusalem and took away the treasures therein, declared that the Lord would bring judgement upon them for their wicked deeds.
The people of God whom they sold into captivity would be stirred to return home by the Lord and those who sold them would be visited by the same evil treatment that they metted out on the people of Judah
The Lord's great army would be mobilized against them and their mighty men would be broken.
Even as the power of the Lord breaks the kingdom of darkness with a great shaking, the Lord would be a shelter and stronghold for His people.
Joel chapter 4 verse 16 says it this way;
And the Lord shall roar from Zion, and from Jerusalem He shall give forth His voice, and the heavens and earth shall quake, and the Lord is a shelter to His people and a stronghold for the children of Israel.
OUR FATHER WHO REVEALS DEEP AND HIDDEN THINGS FOR OUR GAIN AND PROTECTION
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a dream that kept him awake and so he summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers and told them that he had been troubled because of this dream and that he wanted them to tell him what the dream was as well the interpretation.
The astrologers responded to the request as recorded in Daniel chapter 2 verses 4 - 5 and they received an unexpected reaction from the king.
Then the astrologers answered the king, “May the king live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will interpret it.”
The king replied to the astrologers, “This is what I have firmly decided: If you do not tell me what my dream was and interpret it, I will have you cut into pieces and your houses turned into piles of rubble.
The situation suddenly became very serious for the strata of the society involved in the work of providing spiritual guidance and insight to the ruling class of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar insisted that the proof that the spiritual advisors were worth anything at all was that they could first tell him what his dream was and then give him the interpretation.
The astrologers said to the king that such a thing could not be done which greatly angered him and he then decreed that the entire community of spiritual advisors be executed and this judgment included the prophet Daniel and his three companions from Judah, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
The prophet Daniel, upon learning of the plan to execute them, interceded before the king to request time to get the dream and its interpretation. He then returned to his house and told his three friends to call on heaven for mercy so that they could be saved from the fate of death.
During the night, Daniel received the substance of Nebuchadnezzar's dream in the form of a vision and after asking the commander of the King's guard not to kill the rest of the spiritual advisors, he requested an audience with the King.
When Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel if he could tell him both his dream and its interpretation, Daniel replied that no wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner could do such a thing but that there was a God in heaven who revealed mysteries.
Daniel told the king that it was not by his own wisdom that God had revealed the mystery of the king's dreams to him but rather it was shown to him so that the King would have an explanation for the things that passed through his mind.
Daniel then proceeded to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and its meaning and the lives of the spiritual advisors were spared.
Bless the Lord who can, for our benefit and protection, reveal mysteries of things that are deep and hidden beyond our reach.