Wednesday, January 28, 2009

2 Chronicles 1:7-12

" In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. O Lord God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” " (ESV)

How many times do we read those verses and come away thinking that what Solomon asked God for was wisdom and knowledge? If you went through your church and took an impromptu survey asking people "What did Solomon ask God for?" I'm guessing you would get the same answer from everyone; wisdom and knowledge.

But that is not the whole picture. Solomon asks for "wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?" He did not ask for general wisdom and general knowledge. His request was in relation to his role as leader of God's people. God recognizes Solomon's request as asking for wisdom and knowledge to govern God's people.

What would have been God's reply had Solomon only asked for a general and healthy dose of wisdom in knowledge with no reference to leading God's people. Would that have been rewarded in the same fashion? Who knows.

I imagine that Solomon, who had just taken over the throne of arguably the greatest ruler up to that point in history, was intimidated by the task before him. He was about to follow in the footsteps of the "slayer of Goliath" as the leader over a huge multitude of people. Even for the strongest hearts that would have been a looming task. And so Solomon asked for knowledge and wisdom to lead God's people. And it was granted to him, and much more beside.

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