The second book of Chronicles continues the narrative of the history of Israel. Today we are looking at the first two chapters. The opening verses of Chapter 1 set the scene. Solomon has acceded to the throne after his father David died. He speaks to the entire nation of Israel and then, with the leaders of the Israelites, goes to the tent of meeting and offers a thousand burnt offerings to God. God then appears to Solomon during the night and tells him to ask for whatever he wants. Solomon doesn’t ask for wealth or possessions, nor for the destruction of his enemies or the myriad of other self-gratifying things he might have requested. Many of us know this account well and there is a danger we can miss what Gods saying to us here. As I read and re read this chapter it did occur to me that Solomon already had wealth and material trappings that went with his sovereignty, but did you notice verse 9 where Solomon is mindful of the number of people he is now king over, ‘people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth’. Solomon’s heart was not inward facing but outward looking, and his main concern was that he did the best he was able to for his people.
God’s response is equally noteworthy. It is stated first by God that this is the desire of Solomon’s heart. He goes on to acknowledge that he did not request worldly things but He would provide those too, even though they were not requested. How often in our lives does God gives us not only what we need and have asked for, but so much more besides? Although the world would love us to give all that we have a monetary worth, we know that there are many things which are impossible to value. Our relationship with our Lord and God being one of them.
Chapter 2 tells us about the preparations for the construction of the temple and the list of materials he asks king Hiram, to provide. King Hiram’s reply tells us of his own devotion to God and his willingness to honour Him by providing willingly all that is asked for. Do we willingly give all that God asks of us? Do we first think of our own desires and then give to God out of what is left? This passage always makes me think of Jesus’ parable of the widows offering Luke 21:1-4. Unlike King Hiram, this widow gave two very tiny coins of almost no monetary value, but it was all she had and so represented total and utter sacrifice of herself to honour and glorify God.
So if God told you to ask for whatever you wanted what would you ask for? God will hear the desire of your heart, just as He did Solomon’s. Amen