Reader: “What do you want?”
Response: “Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 1:7-13
That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Solomon replied to God, “You showed great and faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”
God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people—I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”
Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel.
In following yesterday’s devotional we continue the story as Solomon assumes his role as God’s choice to be Israel’s next king. Note from yesterday that one of David’s challenges to Solomon was to know God intimately. Evidently Solomon followed David’s advice for here we read of God speaking to Solomon and asking him what he wanted for God had promised to give him anything he wished. We’re all aware that the new king asked for wisdom and knowledge to govern such a large nation. His greatest concern was for helping his people, not power or wealth for himself. (I wonder how many of our national leaders ever ask for such?) God’s answer to Solomon not only gave him what he asked for but riches, wealth and great fame as well. God’s response was lavish in response to Solomon’s request.
Notice Solomon did not ask for things material, but for things of character, of substance. So often I’m afraid our requests are to relieve pressured situations, to get rid of burdens, to alleviate stress or resolve conflict. Certainly there are the “deliver me O Lord” prayers but it seems there ought also to be the “give me grace to endure” and the “help me to reflect Christ” in these difficult circumstances. Or a “grant dear, Lord, that I would be filled with your peace as I go through this difficult procedure.”
The Lord was with Solomon as he was with the Lord. But some of that wisdom left as he was lured away from that intimacy with God by his marriages to many wives from different cultures and different religious practices. I doubt that he decided one day I’m going to abandon God’s leading in my life. More likely, he got preoccupied with many wives, children, buildings, and the busyness of life. I’m afraid he lost true family life with seven hundred wives!
One of the sad observations of Scripture is that all too often sons of godly fathers turned out to be scoundrels and quite the opposite of their fathers. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, was such a son as he followed his father to the throne. He acted unwisely in dealing with his people with the result that he split the kingdom of Israel into ten northern tribes and two southern ones, one of which was Judah. God’s promise to David that the Messiah would come through his lineage was fulfilled, even though many flawed Israelite kings followed David and Solomon. Even though people fail at different points, God’s master plan does not get pushed off course. We are defined not by our past, but by our present. And, praise God, Jesus takes care of both. With Jesus it is always “from this day forward.”
Music: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” AnthemLights Band
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” Home Free
Lord Jesus, with deepest gratitude we thank you that we are not defined and forever branded by our past. We have done things for which we are ashamed and embarrassed before you. We have made stupid decisions and acted foolishly. Yet you have made our reconciliation with you and others possible. You begin in our life right where we are today. You walk with us from this day forward. You wash us clean again and again. Grant that we would have the wisdom to rest in you, to abandon our own way and walk in the perfect path you have planned. May all of our lives on this earth be all that you hoped for and planned that we might bring glory and honor to you our Master and Savior. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen. ―Daniel Sharp