Today we begin the book of 2 Chronicles and there are many powerful lessons we can learn from today’s passage, 2 Chronicles 1:1-17. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 1:3-6 (NIV)
3 and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s Tent of Meeting was there, which Moses the LORD’s servant had made in the desert.
4 Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.
5 But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the LORD; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there.
6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
On verses 1-6: Solomon is now the new king of Israel in place of his father David (v1). After speaking with his leaders, Solomon’s first order of business is to go and worship the Lord and inquire of Him. But then here’s a question: where should Solomon go to inquire of God? After all, this was a unique and disorienting time in Israel’s history when the ark of God was situated in one place (a tent in Jerusalem, since David had moved it there) while the other traditional pieces of Israel’s worship life, like the tabernacle and the bronze altar, were still in Gibeon. In the end Solomon decides to go to Gibeon to inquire of the Lord, and there Solomon will have a powerful encounter with the Lord.
What can we learn from this?
1. The location of the altar where you inquire of God is not as important as the condition of your heart when you inquire of God. When you have a heart that is set on inquiring of God and meeting with God, you can encounter God anywhere. The Holy Spirit is your most mobile power source. You take Him wherever you go and can inquire of Him wherever you are. As David says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
2. Just as Solomon resolved to inquire of the Lord as his first order of business as the new king, whenever you start a new season in life, the first and best thing you should do is take time to worship the Lord, inquire of Him, and welcome God to give you His perspective as you begin this new season.
2 Chronicles 1:7-10 (NIV)
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
8 Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.
9 Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth.
10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
On verses 7-12: When God invites Solomon to ask for anything he wants from God, Solomon asks for wisdom and knowledge to lead “this great people of yours” (v10). In other words, at the outset of Solomon’s reign as king of Israel, he realizes two things:
He desperately needs wisdom from God; and
These people Solomon is called to lead don’t belong to him but to God.
Because Solomon came to God with the humble attitude of a servant and a steward, God blessed Solomon not only with unparalleled wisdom but also with unparalleled prosperity as well.
What can we learn from this? Every day look to God for wisdom, and every day remember that the talents God has given you – including your time, your abilities, your influence, your connections, and the people you lead – are not ultimately for you but they belong to God. See yourself as a steward of what God has given. God blesses abundantly those who have that kind of humble and selfless attitude.
2 Chronicles 1:13 (NIV)
13 Then Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting. And he reigned over Israel.
On verse 13: Solomon started by worshiping in Gibeon and then he was that much more equipped to go on to reign in in Jerusalem. To me it’s a reminder that when you seek God first, you can go from that place of worship to the place where you work, student or serve, and you can reign there for God’s glory. Start your day with worshiping God, and you’ll be equipped to reign with God the rest of the day.
2 Chronicles 1:14-17 (NIV)
14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem.
15 The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.
16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue–the royal merchants purchased them from Kue.
17 They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.
On verses 14-17: Here we see King Solomon accumulating an unprecedented amount of chariots and horses, silver and gold. Unfortunately, in so doing, Solomon ignored God’s warning in Deuteronomy 17:16-17 where it says:
Deuteronomy 17:16-17 (NIV)
16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”
17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
God was not against Solomon being wealthy. Otherwise, God would not have promised to give Solomon “wealth, possessions and honor such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have” (v12). God’s warning to kings in Deuteronomy 17 is not against being wealthy, but against being caught up in wealth such that it becomes their obsession. Here we see Solomon beginning to slip. When it came to leading the country, Solomon asked God for great wisdom to lead his people, and God gave it to him. But when it came to his personal life, Solomon would ignore the wisdom God had already revealed for centuries in His Word. Ignoring such wisdom would be Solomon’s downfall.
What can we learn from this? It is good to ask God for all the new wisdom and insight you can, but don’t ignore the wisdom God has already revealed in His Word. As people called to serve God, may our obsession not be the accumulation of personal wealth, but fulfilling God’s calling on our lives to worship Him (alive), to grow more like Him (expectant), to serve Him (involved), to lead others to Him (outloud), and to love our spiritual family (united). That’s what Jesus and every AEIOU leader after him does.
Heavenly Father, thank You for so generously making Yourself and Your wisdom available to me and to all who seek You. May my obsession in life not be the accumulation of possessions, but the fulfilment of Your calling on my life. May I seek You first, understanding that every talent I have is ultimately from You and for You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!