Solomon’s Request for Wisdom
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 1:1-17, 2 Chronicles 2:1-18, John 15:4-7
My dad is a pastor whose name a lot of people know.
Not just my church growing up but countless homeschool conferences, Baptist churches, and miscellaneous people on the internet know his name. One of the main things my dad preached about back in the day was how to raise godly children. So, when I stand before some people, they don’t see me—they see my dad. To some of them, I am not a fully formed person with my own relationship with God and day-to-day priorities; I am a walking billboard for all their hopes of raising perfect children.
No pressure, right?
But my dad is “just” a pastor and itinerate preacher.
What if he was—I don’t know—the king of Israel?
When Solomon took the throne, he had big shoes to fill. Everyone looked to him to rule as well as his father had. Asaph wrote of David, “He shepherded them with a pure heart and guided them with his skillful hands” (Psalm 78:72).
Jesus was born ten centuries after David and was known as the Son of David. No pressure, right?
Shortly after Solomon became king, the Lord told him to ask for anything. Anything at all.
He did not ask for his name to overtake David’s so much that the coming Messiah and Savior of the world would be called “Son of Solomon.” He didn’t ask for a permanent place outside his father’s shadow. He didn’t ask for fame, riches, or glory.
Instead, he acknowledged that David was a great ruler because of God’s kindness. He asked that God bring about all the things he promised David under his own rule. He confirmed that God was already fulfilling his promise to Abraham by making the Israelites as numerous as the dust of the earth. And he prayed for wisdom to continue to shepherd God’s people well (2Chronicles 1:8–10).
Solomon understood that the throne was bigger than his name or even David’s name: it represented the name above all names. Is it possible he understood that no matter how far his father’s shadow was cast, it was still minuscule compared to the shadow cast by an almighty God?
David had a heart for many things—one of which was to build a temple for this almighty God. He died without ever seeing this dream realized. When Solomon took up the mantle, though, he wasn’t building the temple for David’s glory, or to live up to David before him, or even to revel in having accomplished something that his father never did.
He was building the temple because he understood that the legacy he was walking in was so much bigger than King David’s.
And whether people see you coming first or your parents or your older siblings, know that even if their sight is limited, yours need not be. Ask for wisdom to see beyond the temporal, to the eternal legacy you’re a part of. It’s so much more.