2 Chronicles 1

Welcome to day 549 and our 38th book of the Bible, the Book of 2 Chronicles!  Now, the book of 2 Chronicles was originally just a continuation of the book of 1 Chronicles!  In other words, it was all one book!  So, if you watched the Bible Project video summary of 1 Chronicles…you can skip the video.  However, if you didn’t watch that one last month, to gain a better understanding of the Book of 2 Chronicles, check out this great 6.5 minute video…

When I was about 9 months old, in September of 1965, a brand new show debuted called ‘I Dream of Jeannie’!  It was produced in an attempt to challenge the wildly popular ‘Bewitched’ sitcom that had launched on a rival network a year earlier!

Now, at 9 months old I wasn’t watching ‘Jeannie’, but as the show lasted 5 seasons and re-runs in the 1970’s were popular, I grew up watching the 2000 year old genie work her magic in ‘I Dream of Jeannie’!…and I wasn’t the only one!  The thought of having powers to name-what-you-want and then get it was tantalizing to millions of us back in the 1970’s!

Well, our chapter today has always reminded me of a genie in a bottle!

After ‘taking firm control of the kingdom’ (v1) and after the Ark of the Covenant has already been moved to Jerusalem awaiting it’s new home in the magnificent Temple Solomon will build, Solomon summons the key leaders to the Tent-Tabernacle in Gibeon to worship God.  While there, God asks Solomon,  “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”

There it is!  The genie-in-a-bottle moment!…but for real! 

It’s a fascinating question that spills out of this chapter!  If God came to you and said, “Hey you!  You have one wish!  Ask whatever you want and I will give it to you!”…what would you ask for?

Solomon, of course, asks for ‘wisdom’!  That is almost the best object or quality a person could have asked for!  He doesn’t ask for wealth, a life of ease, popularity, magical powers, military victories or even a long life!  He seems to genuinely want to serve and lead his people well, so he asks for wisdom.  However, there was possibly one request that would have even been better!  Can you think what it would be?

SPOILER ALERT:  Fast forwarding to the end of Solomon’s life shows that even this noble request for wisdom wasn’t enough!  The Scottish Baptist preacher and Bible commentator, Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), had this to say of Solomon…

“Solomon’s request was not bad. We are specifically told in 1 Kings 3:10 that the speech pleased the LORD. Yet we can also ask if this was the best Solomon could ask for. “Was this the highest gift that he could have asked or received? Surely the deep longings of his father for communion with God were yet better.” 

“Solomon did his job well – as well or better than anyone. Yet as his falling away in the end showed (1 Kings 11:1-11) there was something lacking in his spiritual life. “There is no sign in his biography that he ever had the deep inward devotion of his father. After the poet-psalmist came the prosaic and keen-sighted shrewd man of affairs.” 

The British Methodist theologian, Adam Clarke (1760-1832) added, “Instead of being the wisest of men, did he not become more brutish than any man? Did he not even lose the knowledge of his Creator, and worship the abominations of the Moabites, Zidonians, and [so forth]? And was not such idolatry a proof of the grossest stupidity? How few proofs does his life give that the gracious purpose of God was fulfilled in him! He received much; but he would have received much more, had he been faithful to the grace given. No character in the sacred writings disappoints us more than the character of Solomon.” 

This is such a strong reminder that a person could receive their ‘genie-wish’ and still mess up their life!  A person can have-it-all, and still lose-it-all…because it’s not what-you-have…but what-you-do-with-what-you-have that counts!

HIT ‘COMMENT’ BELOW to share your reflections!  You don’t have to complete personal fields to participate!

15 thoughts on “2 Chronicles 1

  1. “6 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.”
    It seems like right after his offerings were done then Solomon went and prayed….but it must’ve taken weeks if not months to do that…each offering had to be inspected for blemishes, and then killed properly, drained of its blood and then portioned for burning…this is a long process so it must’ve taken quite the time and effort.
    I wonder if people read this chapter and think to themselves… I think I’m just gonna start asking God for wisdom and knowledge and that way He will grant me wealth and fame and abundance of everything… but at the end of the day God knows what’s in our hearts and what our motives are….God saw that Solomon was absolutely true from my heart and he wanted was the same kind of wisdom that God had in order to rule …and not only did God rewarded him with wisdom, He also boosted him up status wise which gave him the opportunity to show others how to give back to the temple.

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    1. I appreciate you pointing out the work involved in making such a huge burnt offering.

      Solomon prayed a wonderful prayer to ask for wisdom in order to rule Israel wisely but how terribly sad that Solomon lost sight of Who God is and what God had done for him. And then betray God by worshiping idols.

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      1. Maybe because back then they didn’t have a God in human form to come see them yet so they had a more difficult time relating with God, therefore making it seems easier to betray and turn your back on Him

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      2. Re your reply below. Not many people living today or who have ever lived have seen Jesus in His human form but God lovingly continues to reveal Himself to us in numerous ways in order to open our eyes to the Truth and builds our Faith which is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 3:21-30

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    2. I misunderstood that you were reflecting on how Solomon could have responded in a better way…my bad.

      May God Bless you and your family abundantly.

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  2. A better “wish”? maybe ask for the Messiah to come? Maybe ask for Gods Kingdom to be on Earth so we may all live in His peace. Maybe ask that all the world can have understanding and empathy and live like Jesus and truly be united as one body., no war no famine no hate….. Solomon’s wish was wise but it was for his leadership skills… Some other wishes could benefit the world

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    1. The Messiah has come and He has come again in the form of the Holy Spirit to live within believers.

      I pray that God’s Will will be done in my life and on earth as it is in Heaven. What is God’s Will-to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind and love our neighbours as ourselves.

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  3. We are no different than Solomon. Maybe we are even stupider! We too “Have it all”. We have the Messiah, who has already died and been resurrected so we can have eternal life with God. What do we do with this incredible gift? Some never accept it all. The unforgivable sin. An eternity without God. What a waste. Some take it but never really experience what it can be like to live for Christ and experience the joy of their salvation. I think most of us learn and grow, make mistakes and learn and grow. Then there are some who seem to really have gotten it and cleave to Christ and are obedient to the word of God. I long to be as “wise” as they are. I can think of several people in my life like that.
    I guess my point is we are far better off than Solomon. We have the Messiah and the WHOLE INSTRUCTION MANUEL FROM BEGINNING TO END, at our disposal that can be read to us if we don’t want to read it ourselves. We have at our fingertips the biggest resource material available. Google, where in the bible can i find what Solomon asked God for . Speaking for myself I need to ask God to draw my attention to Him and to be obedient.
    Thank you Jesus for the gift of my salvation. Help me to be wise enough to be obedient.
    .

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  4. Verse 12 says:

    “therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

    Sounds to me like this Old Testament God does not seem to mind people having wealth, possessions and honour. Perhaps as long as its accepted humbly in the service of Him it’s ok. If not accepted humbly in service to Him, I would think these things were considered generally negatives that distracted from serving God.

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    1. I think he gives wealth to many who will obey Him and bless others as He leads them to do knowing that everything we have comes from God

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