God appears to the young King Solomon and says, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
God is no magic genie that we should ask anything of Him, but, in this case, He does exactly that: He offers Solomon his heart’s desire.
You and I could probably not be trusted with such a wish, but Solomon had learned well from watching the failures of his father. He does not ask for wealth, or power, or love. He knows that riches may lead to evil, and excessive power could lead to abuse. Lust leads to infidelity, and sometimes to death. Instead, he asks for wisdom.
If we look back to 1 Chronicles 22:12, we read that David had prayed that God would grant Solomon wisdom and understanding. In chapter 1 of 2 Chronicles, God answers David’s prayer and grants great wisdom to King Solomon.
Much of Solomon’s wisdom was eventually recorded in the Bible, in the book of Proverbs. One proverb that catches my attention is 15:29, which reads,
The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
I wonder what Solomon thinking when he wrote that proverb? Did he think of that prayer, the prayer of his father, asking God to give Solomon wisdom? Was David perhaps the righteous man Solomon thought of when sharing that piece of wisdom?
If you’ve stayed with me to this point, you may see a paradox here. In one paragraph I suggest that Solomon learned from his father’s failures, and in another I propose that David was the model for the righteous man praying.
This is really no paradox. Both may be true. You see, there exists no truly righteous man but Jesus Christ. Not David, not Solomon, not Peter, not Paul; none are righteous. With a broken heart and true repentance, David sought forgiveness for his sins. By faith, he learned to trust in God, and by faith, through the sacrifice of the Son of God, he was found righteous in God’s sight. In the same way, you and I, through faith in Jesus Christ, can be counted righteous in God’s eyes.
It took David most of his life to develop the faith necessary to live a holy life. I can relate. I’m not there yet, but I am finally headed that direction.
By the way, James refers to Solomon’s proverb, and his thoughts contain sound advice for the Christian journey:
…confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
– James 5:16 NIV
FEAR NOT, for God hears the prayers of the righteous.