“Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” 2 Chronicles 1: 10
Today I am participating in a Devotional Carnival on pleasing God, hosted by Rachel Olsen of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Please check out Rachel’s blog and enjoy getting to know her!
King Solomon was the son of David and ruler of Israel. He was the fulfillment of the promise of God to David that his son would be the builder of the Temple and establish David’s heirs on Israel’s throne. 2 Chronicles 1:7 tells that one night God appeared to Solomon and asked, “What shall I give you?” God did not ask this question to gain information because God knows everything! I believe God asked this question for Solomon’s sake, so that Solomon would know how he would answer.
Solomon’s response was “Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?” As King, part of his job duties included settling disputes, so he simply asked God for wisdom so that he could rightly and justly judge the people of Israel. Solomon’s response reflected his heart and humbles me because he could have selfishly asked for anything to add to his comfort, fame, or security, yet he chose the best thing by asking for God’s wisdom. God knew Solomon’s heart, and He knew He could ask such a question of Solomon because he could handle it. It’s the condition of our hearts that pleases God (or not). Proverbs 23: 7a says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Solomon’s request pleased God very much and He responded back by saying “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life-but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king-wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like (2 Chronicles 1: 11-12).” God gave abundantly to Solomon, above and beyond what he had even asked, because He was pleased with his response and glad to have a humble-hearted king on the throne whose greatest desire was for wisdom.
King Solomon went on to be the wisest king Israel has ever known, penning most of the Book of Proverbs. He judged fairly and with godly discernment. He was also one of the richest and most successful kings ever, and his name was known far beyond the boundaries of his own kingdom. God was the One who prospered Solomon and was with him.
Can you imagine if God asked us “What shall I give you?” What is in our hearts that would come out? Would our response be pleasing to God? Godly wisdom is as valuable a tool in a king’s reign as in a marriage, parenting, interacting with others, running a business, and on and on. Let’s follow Solomon’s example and ask humbly for wisdom. Godly wisdom will provide guidance for the right decisions and protection from wrong decisions. Like God did for Solomon, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10).”