That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
— 2 Chronicles 1:1-13
The cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s, ALS and every other disease.
End of hunger and poverty.
Less noble thoughts would include … more wishes, all the money in the world, immortality, power over the entire world.
It’s such a staggering question to consider: If you could have one thing from God, what would it be?
My head starts spinning when I think of the possibilities. I’ve decided to simply wait on answering this question until God asks me.
Solomon couldn’t wait any longer.
The reason? God did ask him!
Even more than simply asking, he commanded him to reply. What do you want?!
It appears that his answer came quickly. No fuss. No tossing and turning. No bargaining. No clarifying questions.
Just simply this: wisdom and knowledge to rule God’s people.
The one person in all of human history who truly had the one-wish opportunity and he went with wisdom and knowledge?! Yep.
God was pleased with that answer and further blessed him.
I wonder if Solomon ever second-guessed his answer.
Any of us who has ever read the story has. I know I have, but then it starts — the head spinning. I move on to something else.
It is worth considering, however: What made Solomon’s request pleasing to God?
His request was rooted in the work of God: “You showed… You have made…”
His request aligned with the promises of God: “keep your promise…”
His request served the people of God: “this great people of yours.”
I probably won’t ever have to answer the one-wish question, but I believe with all my heart that a life rooted in God’s work, a life aligned with God’s promises and a life of service to God’s people is more than worth living.
He was deeply committed to the ways of the Lord.
— 2 Chronicles 17
“You’re not serious, are you? That’s not true! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
It was an interesting conversation, to say the least.
At some level, I wish I would have said less.
Not because what I said resulted in a lively and targeted attack against me, but because what I said drew more attention to me than the particular Biblical perspective I presented.
Regardless, it was very apparent that Biblical morality was more than just a little offensive to my college classmates.
God’s ways aren’t always appreciated.
When Jehoshaphat ascended to the throne, he did so fully committed to the ways of the Lord.
God’s favor was on him as he obeyed God.
He sought God. He rejected idols and all forms of false worship. He prepared teaching teams to travel the country.
He had numerous copies of the Book of the Law made.
Under the blessing of God’s protection, he strengthened the country’s defenses and organized his military under the leadership of strong and gifted men.
He was well on his way to a wonderful life in favor with God and people.
What are we deeply committed to these days?
None of these are bad things, of course. They’re actually blessings from God.
However, none of them or anything else we could think of are to be our first concern.
Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…”
Establishing the priority of the divine, his person and his ways is what leads us to a spiritually powerful life.
There, we discover we were made for so much more than we could ever imagine.
Wiles is senior minister of Fall Creek Christian Church in Pendleton. He can be reached at 765-778-3166.