Solomon has completed his inaugural sacrifice. It was extravagant in number and heart. God sees Solomon’s heart and rewards him. Wisdom is His gift.
The last time we met I was wondering about Solomon’s mind and heart wandering during the lengthy sacrifice he offered the Lord. I told you how my mind wandered during my morning but not my heart. From God’s response to Solomon’s sacrifice I would say He was happy with Solomon’s state in his heart.
God met Solomon in the night immediately following his offering. I would not doubt that Solomon went to sleep that night with the events of the day on his mind. The day had been focused on the Lord and this is probably what occupied his mind as he drifted off to sleep.
Also on Solomon’s mind weighed the responsibility of leading such a great people. David made it seem so effortless. But David made certain his son knew how he was able to carry that same burden; through help from the God of Israel. David left NO DOUBT that his strength came from the Lord.
I’m wondering if this was the first time the Lord had spoken directly to Solomon. Was Solomon hoping and praying for just such an encounter following his sacrifice? Was this hope at least part of his intent for this great sacrifice; a ‘clearing of the air’ between himself and God? Was he trying to set himself in a place where the Lord could speak to him? How long was Solomon working on his answer he wanted to give God, IF He asked. I seriously doubt that Solomon’s response was spontaneous.
Solomon has been contemplating his greatest need. David had left him with plenty of wealth. David had fought off all the enemies around them. And David had prepared Solomon by teaching him from God’s word. But Solomon still felt woefully inadequate.
He didn’t have David’s years of growing into leadership through hard trials. He probably had some position within David’s cabinet but it was NOWHERE near as filled with responsibility as the position he now held. He could no longer look to his father for direction. David was dead. Solomon had to make his was in this role on his own. Sure, he had advisors but the ultimate decisions of life and death lay at his feet.
God met Solomon in the middle of the night. A time when he was all alone. No one would observe this meeting and record it. None would need to. Solomon went into his bedchamber an inexperienced young man with a worried heart. He would emerge the next morning with confidence. Confidence not in his own strength but in the strength of mind imparted to him by the Lord.
God’s offer to Solomon was a test. He wanted to know where Solomon’s heart truly lay. Would Solomon be a selfish king? Would he think of himself above all others? Would he seek power, riches or glory? Or would he seek to truly care for the people he was entrusted with? Would he see himself as a servant king or a dictator?
David had prayed for wisdom many times in his life. He asked God’s direction on battle tactics. He sought God’s leadership in where to turn for safety. He inquired of the Lord when considering special tasks. He modeled and shared these experiences with Solomon. So Solomon was well aware of the source of David’s success.
We are not told Solomon received any prophecy or word from the Lord through the Levites during his day long sacrifice. I’m thinking that he went to bed PRAYING for an encounter with God. He probably had his answer to God’s question burning on his lips. He KNEW he needed help. And he KNEW the ONLY One he could receive it from.
“Please! Give me opportunity to ask. Speak to me God of my fathers. I have NEED of You. I am exactly as my father described me to the assembly; young and inexperienced. And the work is indeed great. Not just the work of building a House for You, but governing Your people. I CANNOT do it alone! I cannot even do it with ALL the advisors in the land for I know not which ones offer the BEST advice. Only YOU know beginning and end. YOU hold Your people in Your hand. YOU turn the hearts of the nations. YOU know our coming in and going out. I wait expectantly and ready for YOUR help. Help that will grant me wisdom in leading YOUR people. My help comes from YOU alone. I LONG for the opportunity to truly present my petition before You and KNOW that You have heard me.”
I believe THIS is what lay in Solomon’s heart throughout that day of sacrifice. Did he feel discouraged when he retired to bed and had not heard an answer? Did he cling to hope, knowing that the God of his father was faithful to answer? Did he believe the God of his father had already heard his petition, even if it was only voiced in his heart?
When God spoke to Solomon that night and answered the deepest need in his heart, was that the beginning of their own personal relationship? Was this the time when God moved from being his father’s God and became Solomon’s God?
From a heart of humility Solomon made his request. From a heart filled with joy God granted it, and MORE! This was a new chapter in Solomon’s life. But unfortunately that relationship wouldn’t last forever. Pervasive sin would leak in. The wisdom he had received for the people, he didn’t apply to his own life.
Father God, I need YOUR wisdom in my life. The prayer I wrote for Solomon is my prayer too. I don’t have ANYWHERE near the responsibility Solomon had. But I want YOUR wisdom in my life. Help me deal with my husband’s needs in the best way. Help me understand the deeper things in Your word. Help me choose the right words when righting so I can paint picture that speak only of You. Help me know when, where and how to take a stand on issues of today. Help me ALWAYS speak YOUR truth in love.
Thank You that You are the God of my father AND my God! Thank You for my parents who introduced me to You. Thank You for being ‘real’ in my life from an early age. I wish that had been the case with my children. But I KNOW You can still speak into their lives and bring them back to You. I leave them once again in Your hands.