One was “given to” and one was “given over to”. Solomon received the blessing he asked for. He did not ask for wealth, possessions, honor, the death of his enemies or long life. He asked for the wisdom to govern. His priority was the benfit of those in his charge.
Midas, on the other hand, was given the Golden Touch–and it came back to bite him. Surely, he received his reward in full. He found out that when you are “given over” to your own devices, it leaves you miserable. To borrow a phrase, it truly is “a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Paul also speaks of the church allowing those who persist in seeking their own ways to be turned over to Satan for a while (with the hope, of course, that they will return, 1 Cor. 5:5). It must be true that we do not really want what we think we want.
But doesn’t the Bible say “he will give you the desires of your heart” and “ask for anything in my name and I will do it”? It almost sounds like God is writing us a blank check. But there is fine print. God will give us the desires of our heart on the condition that our delight be in him (Psalm 37:4). Solomon was “given to” because he was desiring the same thing that God desired. His heart was in line with the heart of God. He was seeing with God’s eyes. He was burdened for the very things that burdened God. Both God and Solomon wanted the people to be blessed.
Solomon was, in effect, praying in Jesus’ name. I believe that praying in Jesus’ name isn’t so much about what you say at the end of the prayer as it is about your motivations. Do your prayers reflect the heart of God? I think praying in Jesus’ name is another way of saying according to God’s will. Surely God will give us what we ask for if it is in line with his will. This isn’t some deceptive caveat. The truth is, God knows what is truly best for us, and he wants us to know it too.
It is divine mercy that we don’t get everything we ask for. I would do better trying to figure out what God really wants to give rather than demanding what I think I want. That is what discipleship is all about, becoming like Jesus in word, deed, and thought. It has also been said, “Be careful what you ask for–you might just get it.” That was Midas’ problem.