That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (2 Chron 1:7)
What if you were given the chance to request one thing, and you knew it was guaranteed to be given to you?
Money? Possessions? Power?
These are the common choices that society would assume are most desired by people. Culture tells us that we need new things, more money, and a higher social status.
What if this question was geared towards your position in the game of basketball? I think we would assume that people would choose more championships, more individual accolades, or a new coach/new players/new team.
O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chron 1:8-9)
In a culture that is focused on self-promotion and personal gain, we can take lessons from Solomon’s request. While we read that he requests wisdom and knowledge, his request gives us more to consider when we think about what type of leader we are becoming.
Solomon leads off by acknowledging how he became in this position of leadership. It wasn’t by his individual effort alone or by networking. It was through his father by a calling from God.
While Solomon could have easily requested something for personal gain (or even wisdom and knowledge for his own growth), he felt that the needs of his people were more important than his desires. His request was made with intentions of helping his people.
Solomon’s request to lead his people better was based on his acknowledgment that he was incapable of doing his job efficiently without further advancement. Too many people believe they are fully equipped for their future and stop learning and developing. It’s important to realize that every day is a chance to grow as a person and a leader.
God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people — I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!” (2 Chron 1:11-12)