“That night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ Solomon said to God, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to my father David, and have made me succeed him as king. O LORD God, let your promise to my father David now be fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?’ God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.’ So Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel.” –2 Chr 1.7-13 NRSV
I love this story.
God asks Solomon, “what is your greatest desire?” And Solomon’s answer is this: “wisdom and knowledge” (2 Chr 1.11 NRSV). This is what Solomon desires more than wealth and honor and everything else under the sun for which he could have asked the LORD. God seems to approve of Solomon’s answer, and says, “I will give you wisdom, knowledge, AND everything else—precisely because your greatest desire is to be wise.”
Part of the reason I love this story is because I love wisdom literature. But this dialogue between God and Solomon also resonates with me because I understand my own life to be a search for truth and wisdom and knowledge—all of the things that Solomon requests of God in this passage. God’s response to Solomon fascinates me—it seems like God is saying, “seek the truth and I will take care of the rest.”
On that note, this story reminds me of Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount when he says, “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt 6.33 NRSV). This is a connection made strictly on the devotional level, but I think it is a connection worth making. I would argue that both passages express God’s desire for us to seek truth—wisdom and knowledge, the kingdom of God and its righteousness—in all that we do, and trust God’s promise to take care of everything else.
What are you seeking? For what are you striving?
Seek Wisdom. Trust God.