God’s Part and Our Part

If God said you could ask Him for anything you wanted…what would you ask for?

Healing?

A big pile of money?

A spouse? Or a baby?

World peace?

God gave King Solomon that choice.

“…God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.'” (2 Chronicles 1:7)

So what did Solomon ask for?

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:11)

Solomon wanted God’s wisdom and knowledge, so he could effectively lead God’s people. And God not only granted his request, He also gave him wealth and long-life. In 1 Kings 10:23-25, we get a glimpse of God’s answer:

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

Solomon asked. God answered. God did His part. And yet, something went wrong. Something terribly wrong. We see it in 1 Kings 11:

King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women…from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love...and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

God instructed Israel to not intermarry with the nations around them. Does that mean God is against inter-racial marriage? No, it means He’s against anything that would turn our hearts away from Him. He knew that’s what would happen if Israel joined themselves to people who didn’t know Him.

So what happened to the wisdom and knowledge Solomon had asked for? Why did he act so foolishly? How did he fall so far?

God did His part by giving Solomon wisdom and knowledge. But what if Solomon’s part was to love and seek God with a fully devoted heart to continue enjoying that wisdom he’d been given?

It’s interesting that during Solomon’s reign, he didn’t face any resistance like his father, David, had. No battles to fight. No enemies to overcome.

“During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree.” (1 Kings 4:25)

Maybe Solomon didn’t sense any real need for God since he already had everything he wanted. Could it be that unmet needs, unanswered prayers and unfulfilled desires are actually good for us? Maybe without them, we become complacent and stop seeking God. Instead, we turn to other “gods” to fulfill us.

Solomon started strong, but finished poorly, because his heart turned away from God.

If God said you could ask Him for anything you wanted…what would you ask for?

I’m asking for a fully devoted heart. And I trust God to answer, but I have to do my part, too. I must diligently seek Him and turn away from anything that would divide my heart.

God will always be faithful to do His part in our lives. The real question is whether we’ll be faithful to do ours.

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