2 Chronicles 1-2: Wisdom
July 13, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The chronicler of this Second Chronicles begins his account on an encouraging note. He surveys the greatness of Solomon and especially his wisdom. Before he dives into Solomon’s well-known request for that wisdom, and God’s bountiful reply with wisdom and far more blessing beside, we are reminded (once more) of the source of all greatness:
“The Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great” (1:1).
We do well to underline that sentence in the Bible. It is too easy to think that God hides his eyes when we desert him or sin against him, or, conversely, that his arm is too short to save. But as Psalms teaches, it is not the east or the west, not circumstance, personal brilliance, culture, situation, or influence of others which exalts one and pushes down another. It is God’s doing (Psalm 75:6-7). This should cause us to seek him, remembering, as the prophet Samuel taught, God honors those who honor him (1 Sam. 2:30). This is not the same as Benjamin Franklin’s secularized version, “God helps those who help themselves.” No, instead, it is as Jesus said—that as we seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, all these other things will be added to us as well (Matt. 6:33). With them, on occasions, come sufferings, too—but then we rejoice and are glad for we are counted worthy of suffering for the name.
Solomon performs his extraordinarily exuberant sacrifices (1:6), and then God appears to him (1:7). God asks him a specific question. Solomon shows his wisdom by his request, even before his request is answered (1:8-10). God is not like a genie who will do as we bid, nor is it wise to ask for selfish blessing at the expense of others. Instead, Solomon wisely humbles himself before God and asks that he might be given the gifts he needs to perform the task which he has been given. As Hudson Taylor put it, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.” What Solomon most needed, he realized, was sanctified savviness, know-how, wisdom and discernment to govern this great people. Leaders the world over: ask God for wisdom.
Solomon’s request is granted, and with it also much wealth and honor (1:11-12). He then shows his wisdom in how he diplomatically approaches a nearby ruler (2:3). The king of Tyre recognizes the finger of God on Solomon, and witnesses to it (2:12). Rulers, politicians, pastors, business leaders: how we lead can itself give glory to God. May we, like Solomon, have the wisdom of God to rear our children to fear God, to love our wives as we love ourselves, to respect our husbands as the church does Christ, to serve at church with zeal and godliness, to be faithful in private as in public, to honor God—that he might be honored above all as “greater than all [so-called] gods” (2:5).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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