Daily Worship


August 15, 2021 0
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1 Kings 3: 3-15 (NRSVA)

3 Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David; only, he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt-offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ 6 And Solomon said, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart towards you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. 7 And now, O Lordmy God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honour all your life; no other king shall compare with you. 14 If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.’

15 Then Solomon awoke; it had been a dream. He came to Jerusalem, where he stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. He offered up burnt-offerings and offerings of well-being, and provided a feast for all his servants.

Dreams are a strange phenomenon at the best of times: a suitcase full of memories crashing headlong into a story where time and space are flexible. So when we hear that God can speak to us in those dreams it can be met with feelings of doubt or worry alongside amazement. But reading this passage from 1 Kings it becomes clearer that God speaking in dreams can sometimes hold a similar function to that of ordinary dreams themselves.

As we sleep our brains dream and process the day, they process new memories, they store new information, they make new links and conclusions based on things we may have forgotten mixed with the things we have freshly learned or imagined.

When God speaks the unconscious part of Solomon, dream-Solomon, replies weaving God into the story of his dream, making it so a human brain can comprehend and converse with God. We have no way of knowing whether Solomon, were he awake, would have asked for wisdom; he may in fact have been too busy being scared by the presence of God. We don’t know whether Solomon truly knew that wisdom and the ability to kindly govern his people was the thing he held most highly. But what we can say for certain is that God knew and that by entering into the dream he created an opportunity for Solomon to talk without fear.

In asking those questions to dream-Solomon, God has allowed the answers to be gently revealed. God has allowed Solomon to wake knowing his own heart better and knowing God better too.




Dear God of wisdom,

Thank you for those times in our lives that you help us to find knowledge we have kept hidden within us.

Please be with us as we discover the myriad of ways you can speak to us, guide us and wake us up to a new reality.

Guard our dreams from all the things which might mislead us, even ourselves.