As we continue to look at stories from the Bible and ask God for wisdom in knowing what they might mean for our lives, I thought it would be appropriate to look at a story from the life of Solomon. Solomon was the son of David and the third king of Israel. After the death of his father David, Solomon “established himself firmly over his kingdom” (2 Chronicles 1:1). The temple had not yet been built and God’s tent of meeting that Moses had made was in a place called Gibeon. Solomon went to this place and offered a thousand burnt offerings. Here is where we pick up the story; 2 Chronicles 1:7-12.
“That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’
Solomon answered God, ‘You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?’
God said to Solomon, ‘Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possession, or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions, and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.’”
What I find interesting from this story is that it’s very relatable to all of us. Not so much God appearing to us and asking us for whatever we want, but the fact that we already do that. When you think about your prayer life and your conversations with God, a lot of them may tend to be ‘asks’. Whether it’s for healing for you or a loved one, help on a test or an athletic event; we’re constantly asking God for things. Sometimes those prayers are answered and sometimes they’re not in the way we had hoped.
Solomon gets the opportunity to ask and know that whatever he asks will be given to him. Imagine that next time you pray! His response is very unique and amazing in itself. By asking for wisdom and knowledge he is showing God that he is already wise, God is just going to increase that (and give him other things). Solomon was wise enough to know that he’s not wise enough to rule God’s people in the right way. He asks for something that not only will benefit himself but something that he will use to benefit others.
In our current reality, our prayers may be filled with a lot of ‘asks’ (I know mine are). ‘Please help this virus to go away.’ ‘Please let me go back to school or work.’ ‘Please be with those who are sick or are suffering because of this virus.’ I want you to know that there is nothing wrong with asking God for things, it is a necessary part of our prayer life. What I want you to take from this story is maybe a new outlook on prayer and conversation with God. Am I praying for things that only affect me, or am I praying for others? Do most of my prayers have to do with asking God for things, or am I thanking and praising him too? Solomon is very wise in the way he approaches his conversation with God. I think we can do likewise and be more thoughtful when we go to God in prayer, especially during a time like this.
Questions for Discussion/Contemplation: