2 Chronicles 1

If only Solomon’s ending could have been like his beginning. He made an impressive start. But it’s not where you are placed at the outset of a race that counts; it’s where you finish.

There are certain things we are called to do, and we can only do them if we have the presence of God with us (1), so let us seek Him and His anointing at all times. There is a wonderful balance in this first verse, between Solomon’s action/initiative and God’s involvement. Ever remember: Without Him we cannot; without us He will not. Work as if it all depends on you and pray as if it all depends on God. Solomon sought the Lord and established himself firmly over his kingdom (1a).

Solomon led the people in going into God’s presence to hear from Him and to worship Him (2-6). He both spoke to them (2) and set an example (3). It’s interesting that the first thing we read after the statement in (1) about the Lord being with Solomon is about the King enquiring of God (5). Solomon positioned himself to hear from God. We need to do the same. We do this, for example, by regularly, in a disciplined fashion putting ourselves in the place of prayer; or by consistently being involved in the public worship of the church

It’s not surprising then to read: That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him… (7a). It’s an inevitable question isn’t it? What would we do with an opportunity such as Solomon had? What would you ask for if God said to you: Ask for whatever you want me to give you (7b)? What would you do with such an offer? Solomon here illustrates the principle taught by Jesus in Matt. 6:33: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Solomon asked unselfishly and humbly for wisdom to do the task he’d been assigned, recognising that he was called to shepherd God’s people (10; see also James 1:5). And because of this he was granted wisdom, but also many other wonderful things for which he had not asked (11, 12; see examples of his great wealth in 14-17. However, even here we may be having a preview of the beginning of the rot which was to set in: see Deut. 17:16, 17).

This reminds one of the constant teaching of Jesus. He who seeks his life loses it; but to lose it is to save it in the best and deepest sense. F.B.Meyer: Great verses through the Bible, p. 149. As someone said, God is prepared to take full responsibility for the life that is fully yielded to Him.

It is good and right to go to our place of work/ministry from before the Tent of Meeting (13). Go to it ‘prayed-up’ day after day. I knew someone who had what might be regarded as a fairly ordinary job. But morning by morning she was up early and on her knees, praying, among other things, for God’s blessing on her work and people and things connected to it. This I know, God’s smile was upon her, and a fairly low-key job was transformed by a prayerful attitude that sought to glorify and honour God in all things. It could be you!