- Lesson 4 in the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “Solomon: No Ordinary Kind of Wisdom” focuses on 2 Chronicles 1:1-13.
What did Solomon ask for? He asked for wisdom. The word wisdom has been associated with Solomon ever since he made the request. From the writings in the book of Proverbs to some of Solomon’s decisions, wisdom has been connected to him. The word wisdom (chokmah or pronounced Hok ma) is the comprehensive knowledge of things in their proper nature and relations, together with the power of combining them in the most useful manner. The word is used to express the understanding or knowledge of things, both human and divine. It also is used in the sense of ingenuity, skill and dexterity, as in the case of the artificer Bezaleel. So, Solomon’s request is for knowledge and information and the ability to understand how to use the knowledge skillfully so he can rule his people well.
He asked for wisdom for two reasons, first, that he may go in and out among the people and secondly, that he may judge the people well. This phrase go “in and out among the people” also is used about David in 1 Samuel 18. God had anointed David king. In chapter 18, Saul was trying to kill David. The writer of 1 Samuel says the people loved David because he was “in and out among the people” (1 Samuel 18:13, 16). In other words, David became successful as a leader in Israel, and people loved him. Solomon requested that he be the successful leader his father was. He also understood the enormity of his responsibility, because the people he led were not his people but God’s people. Leadership in the kingdom of God realizes the people they lead were God’s people and not theirs. This should govern how a leader relates to the ones they lead. We need to be reminded as leaders that no matter how difficult people can be, they are still God’s people and not ours.
Not a request for personal gain
Solomon asked so he may judge God’s people correctly. He does not ask for personal gain. He did not ask based upon his self-interest but the interest of others. I have to examine my own prayer life to ascertain how much of my prayers are self-centered and selfish. Solomon’s prayer gives us a good pattern for our own prayer life. Our prayers can be about our self and our needs and our desires, but it also should be intercessory, about and on behalf of others. Our prayers should be prayers that ask for wisdom. As believers, we need the knowledge and skill to direct our own lives and, if we are leaders, the lives of others. James commanded us to ask for wisdom when we pray. When we ask for wisdom God will give it to us because it is his nature for him to give it and God’s desire for us to have it (James 1:5).
God answered Solomon’s request and not only gave him wisdom but gave him riches, wealth and honor as well. It was because of what was in Solomon’s heart that made God give him what he asked for and then some. Prayer can reveal what is in your heart. Solomon’s prayer revealed what was in his heart. Solomon became the richest man in the world, and his fame spread throughout the world.
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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