Today's devotion from 2 Chronicles 1 and 2.
As I read through the chronicler's account of Solomon's ascension, blessing, and undertaking of the building campaign, I was struck by a thought that was simple, yet quite profound. In particular, I'm referencing the dialog between God and Solomon recorded in 2 Chronicles 1:11.
We often note, and rightly so, how incredible it is that Solomon's request is for wisdom to govern instead of wealth or power. We should be so lucky to be served by such men in our modern age. I'm often distracted by other thoughts as well. For example, here we have a young man, conceived by a woman whose relationship with her father was surely the topic of many gossip sessions. I can only imagine how these murmurings had impacted a young Solomon.
I wonder about the state of his relationships with David's other children. Where they disrespectful toward him? Did they bully him? Did they make fun of him? Did they pick on him? We don't really know, but whatever those dynamics were seem to have shaped him to some degree. For the son of a beloved king who has been coronated, Solomon displays an enormous amount of humility where so many others would be tempted by arrogance and pride.
In thinking through these things, I suddenly had an epiphany. Solomon was already wise. Now, hear me out. God says, "Because this was in your heart..." The desire for wisdom was already there, and he had enough wisdom to act on even that small and burgeoning amount of wisdom to know that it wasn't enough. He needed more, and he was wise enough to know that his only source was God.
This doesn't surprise me. He apparently inherited it from his father. In Psalm 37:4, David wrote, "Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Can I tie these ends together now? I believe that God often doesn't give us radically new gifts, but redeems those talents and traits He instills within us at birth. I think its totally plausible that Solomon was already a pretty wise young man, but God redeemed that gift and multiplied it.
If this is the case, then I fully believe that many of us have already been given what we need in order to succeed for God today. The question isn't if we have it, but are we wise enough to lay it before God to redeem and multiply? Are we willing to surrender it to His service just as Solomon sought wisdom to shepherd God's people? Maybe what we need to concern ourselves about isn't what we would ask from God, but what is in our hearts?