That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. … Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” – 2 Chronicles 1:7-8, 10 NIV
In the first chapter of the book of 2 Chronicles, Solomon is offered by the Lord anything he wants. Solomon’s response is that he would like the knowledge and wisdom to rule over Israel. Let’s take a moment and think about what just happened in this exchange. If the Lord, the most High God appeared to you and asked, ““Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (2 Chronicles 1:7 NIV), would knowledge and wisdom be the first thing on your lips to request? Would you be more concerned about doing well at your job than health and wealth for you and yours?
It might help to understand where Solomon is coming from if we look at his response to learn about his frame of mind when the Lord asked this question. In verse 10, Solomon says, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10 NIV). The key phrase here is, “for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” It doesn’t say what exactly he’s feeling right now. What I do know is that when I use phrases like that, I’m feeling overwhelmed. When I look at the work ahead of me and say, “Nobody could get all this done in time!” or “I have no idea how this is going to happen! I wish I could make a copy of myself.” The days that I feel inferior or not up to the task, those are the days that I can most relate to what Solomon is saying here.
Knowing that Solomon is feeling woefully inadequate also shows us a peek into God’s heart, as well. God knew that Solomon felt unworthy of the task. God also knew that Solomon walked with Him and honored Him. God’s heart to bless Solomon stepped it up right when the need was feeling overwhelming.
When you are feeling at the end of your rope, what do you request of God? When your heart is burdened and hurting, what would you have God give you? Does the heart of a servant come out, or does selfishness take the first step? When we feel overwhelmed, we can learn a lot about our true heart by seeing what actions we take. Learn to be a humble servant before the Lord, even when you’re up against the wall. God will always step up and bless those who ask in humility.
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. – Proverbs 3:13-15 ESV