HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 10) Letter from 7-25-16 (based on 1996 sermons from FELLOWSHIP BIBLE OF LITTLE ROCK)

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

What if you had 1 wish?

By Ryan Ervin

Besides Jesus (of course), King Solomon is my favorite character in Scripture. It’s the train-wreck I can’t look away from. No person in history, including Jesus, had been handed a bigger platform. The new kingdom was all his.

After Solomon was given the throne, God decides to personally visit Solomon one night and says, “Ask from me anything.”

Anything. God gave Solomon the biggest blank check in history. For one night, God was Solomon’s genie.

“Wisdom to lead your great people” was his immediate response.

God was so pleased with Solomon’s answer, he gave him more wisdom than anyone ever, and even gave him what he didn’t ask for: riches, long life, and peace with his enemies. (Driscoll rightly said, “Solomon was smarter than Albert Einstein, had more money than Bill Gates, and more women than Hugh Hefner.”)

With all Solomon had and the wisdom he possessed, he set the course for Israel’s unfaithfulness and eventual fall. His vast wisdom wasn’t enough. He drifted from the God who’d given him everything.

This troubles me because I love the subject and pursuit of wisdom. It may be my favorite prayer request. (Don’t forget, God was very pleased with Solomon’s answer.)

Wisdom wasn’t enough for Solomon, and that’s a lesson for me. There is no reason to think that wisdom is enough for me either, though I want it to be.

But what is? What if God came to me, and asked, “Ryan, ask anything from me.” What would I ask for? What would you ask for?

This puzzled me for months. I had no idea. Friends and colleagues would ask me, “Ryan, how can I pray for you?” and I would honestly respond with, “I don’t know.”

Has this ever bothered you? Have you ever wondered, “If God is really going to answer my prayer for me, what should I ask for?”

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. You’re probably right, but this was a real issue for me.  As a husband, father, and leader in a church, I’ve committed to wrestling with God in prayer so I can be of better service. Solomon’s downfall has been serving me as a warning since I first read it.

So, I started asking around. I reminded people of Solomon’s story, then asked, “What’s the greatest prayer request? What’s the best thing you can ask for yourself?”

After I asked a friend, he wisely reminded me that “We’ve been given Solomon’s blank check. Jesus invites us to, ‘ask, seek, knock.’ Jesus also ends this invitation with, ‘How much more will God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?’”

I felt like a dunce. We, like King Solomon, have been invited to ask for anything. Within that generous invitation we’re specifically encouraged to ask for more of God. He is not our genie, nor does he want to be. He’s more. He wants to be our dad who gives us good things.

More than just an invitation to ask for things, we’re invited to be in relationship with Solomon’s Genie. We can know him. We can talk with him.

To keep with the Genie metaphor, he’s so much more than a granter of wishes. He wishes for us. He’s committed to intercede for me, while the Holy Spirit is asking for things I don’t even know to ask for. That means two-thirds of the Trinity is praying for me right now. He makes up for where I’m lacking, filling in the crevices of my weaknesses. This is true for you too, of course.

One of the lessons from this story is that wisdom isn’t everything. Perhaps another is that Solomon’s downfall was that after the fantastic answer he gave to God, he quit pursuing him.

Two things are certain, though.

  1. God loves to give wisdom, so ask for it.
  2. Wisdom is not enough, but he is.

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Ryan Ervin is the Married Life Pastor at CTK Bellingham. He’s married to Nicole, and together they’re raising their 3 children, Hannah, Tess, and Finn.

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

In this post today and several posts that follow this will be based on a sermon series I heard at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 1996 on the Book of Ecclesiastes. The pastors back then were Robert Lewis, Bill Wellons, Bill Parkinson and Dan Jarrell. Below is the letter I wrote based both on Dan Jarrell’s sermon from the same series.

Dan Jarrell pictured below:

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Robert Lewis pictured below:

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Bill Wellons pictured below:

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Bill Parkinson pictured below

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I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

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