2 Chronicles 1 Ask what I shall give you

From 2 Chronicles 1

13 14 Chronicles thumbToday we start reading through the second book of Chronicles. David has made his son Solomon king and passed away. Today’s passage gives a brief account of the early stages of his rule and his relationship with the LORD.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

1 Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and made him exceedingly great. (2 Chr 1.1)

‘Established’ is a word normally associated with a king enforcing his power on his kingdom. Making sure things are done as he desires. Solomon is established in his kingdom. There are none who stand against him or seek to undermine him. The LORD was with him. Its because of the LORD’s doing that he has become great.

All we have comes from God.

2 Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of fathers’ houses. 3 And Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness, was there. 4 (But David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.) (2 Chr 1.2-4)

map of Israel

Solomon leads the people into worship of the LORD. He calls all the people together and they go to the place of worship. At the time, this was Gibeon. Just north this was the staging ground for Joshua’s invasion of the promised land and the current location of the tent of meeting.

5 Moreover, the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the Lord. And Solomon and the assembly sought it out. 6 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it. (2 Chr 1.5-6)

You might remember Bezalel from Exodus (Ex 38.1-8). He was gifted by the Holy Spirit to craft and construct various objects used in worshiping the LORD. The altar he built still stood and this is where Solomon led the people to worship the LORD.

One thousand burnt offerings is a lot of offerings don’t you think? It must have taken them a while.

Solomon stays the night in Gibeon and goes to sleep.

7 In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” (2 Chr 1.7)

Solomon has a dream. Sometimes God speaks to people in dreams.

In it God’s offer is quite amazing and unprecedented. Solomon is effectively given a blank check. The way Solomon answers will reveal the desires of his heart.

If God asked you the same, what would you ask for?

All of God’s people can come to God in prayer and make requests of him.

8 And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 O LORD God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. (2 Chr 1.8-9)

The LORD is showing steadfast love (Heb. ḥesed) and is fulfilling his promises. Solomon is thinking in terms of covenant. The LORD made promises to David. Promises of having a future son who will have an everlasting kingdom. Solomon also remembers the LORD’s promise to Abraham to have offspring ‘as numerous as the dust of the earth’ (Gen 13.16; 28.14).

Solomon answers.

10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” (2 Chr 1.10)

Solomon is aware of the considerable demands it will be on him to govern the people.

He asks for gifts of wisdom and knowledge to look after the people.

The LORD will answer and the proverbs are testament to the gift of wisdom and knowledge he gave Solomon.

11 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” (2 Chr 1.11-12)

God recognises the request was from Solomon’s heart. Solomon wanted to help others. God commends Solomon for his request. At this point at least Solomon has asked for something that is for the benefit of others and not for himself. But the LORD, perhaps rewarding Solomon for his request affirms he will give him personal blessings in addition.

13 So Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel. (2 Chr 1.13)

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

True wisdom belongs to God and may be given by him alone. It cannot be received by those who put confidence in worldly wisdom which is based upon human cleverness and insight without God’s revelation and which will come to nothing.

True wisdom comes from God and is given by God alone. Solomon acknowledges this in Ecclesiastes.

26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. (Ecc 2.26)

It can be given to us through listening to God and reading the scriptures. To receive it God’s people must submit to God and ask him for it.

David tells us.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;

the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;

9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;

the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Ps 19:7–11)

We need to keep spending time with the LORD, praying and reading the scriptures.

Story of Jesus

The LORD asked Solomon to make a request. In the gospel Jesus promised we can always make our requests to the Father in prayer.

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (Jn 16:23–24)

Solomon could have asked for anything. In the end, he wanted wisdom. It is the LORD’s wisdom and understanding given to God’s people that enable them to know who is the Christ. The Chosen one of God. Jesus recognised this in Peter.

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. (Mt 16:13–20)

This wisdom is the most important and it comes from the Father. To know who Jesus is and to recognise him as King.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2015. All Rights Reserved.