Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

The Source of Glorious Wisdom (2 Chronicles 1)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Few remain standing. Let's turn to second chronicles, Chapter One, and we will hear God's words to night. Second Chronicles, Chapter One, Solomon, the son of David, established himself in his kingdom, and the Lord, his God, was with him and made him exceedingly great. Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of father's houses, and Solomon and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was in Gibeon, for the tent of the meeting of God, which Moses, The Servant of the Lord, had made in the wilderness was there. But David had brought the Ark Up, brought up the Ark of God from Kiriof Jereim to the place that David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. Moreover, the bronze altar that Bezzleel, the son of Uri, son of her had made was there before the Tabernacle of the Lord, and Solomon and the assembly sought it out, and Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting and offered a thousand and burnt offerings on it. Verse Seven. In that night, God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ask what I shall give you, and Solomon said to God, you have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and I made me king in his place. Oh Lord God, Let your Word to David my father be now 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 govern this people of yours, which is so great? God answered Solomon, because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern 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, but who were before you and none after you shall have the like. So Solomon came from the high place of Gibbeon, from before the tent of the meeting to Jerusalem and he reigned over Israel. Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had fourteen hundred chariots twelvezero horsemen whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. And the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made Cedar as plentiful as the Sycamore in the SHEPPELA. And Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and coup, and the king's traitors would buy them from coup or a price. They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver and a horse for a hundred and fifty. Likewise through them. These were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the Kings of Syria. You may be seated. Well, as we come to this second half of chronicles, or second chronicles is it is called, we come to something more of a speedier tail and we read in first chronicles the account of mostly of two...

...kings, after the genealogies at the beginning of first chronicles. First we read of Solomon, or I'm sorry, Saul, a rather quick story, and then the rest of the chapters. For the most part, we're devoted to David has ascension to power and his reign. And second chronicles. We're going to move through about four hundred years of history there. It's full of these many biographies, the King after King, after King after King, and over this over this period of time, over these four hundred years, through these little king biographies, we come to learn several things. First, we have a lot of examples good kings and bad kings. We see what it is to rule in God's name and to rule well, what it is to rule poorly and against God and the things that he desires. We also come to see how the history of Israel develops through these accounts of these kings. And in all of this we see God's promises being fulfilled. The beginning of that testimony, Solomon himself says, remember how he begins his prayer in Verse Eight. You have shown great and steadfast love to David, my father, and have made me king in his place. The fact that Solomon is king is no accident. God told him Solomon would be king. God promised things to Solomon. He's fulfilling that promise and we'll see how God continues to work through these people well as we do. So what will have is this rather indepth study on the Kingship of Christ. In all these various ways in which these kings act and fail to act, will see how our will see, in comparison to our Lord, how he was much better than even the best and how he saves us from the worst. Well him to come to understand King Jesus in his glory, in his power, in his wisdom, in his might. And so we begin with Solomon and in this chapter, in this beginning account of Solomon's reign, we get this, essentially this big idea about godliness. And it's this that Godly people seek wisdom. God people, Godly people, seek wisdom first in their service to God, because they understand how important their call is and they also understand the limits of their own minds and hearts, understanding the call that God has placed on our lives, understanding the limits and our ability to fulfill that call. A Christian is one who will recognize that, not fight against it, but recognize it and go to God and seek wisdom, even as Solomon did. So let's think about Solomon's example and how other chronicler puts it here and has US understand Solomon in his reign. Solomon, we see, did very well. His reign is summarized here and then in the following chapters it's going to focus in in particular on his work on the temple. But what do we see here? First, we see that Solomon is obedient. He worships. You notice at the tent of meeting which Moses sets up. At this particular time in history, there's really only two places you could worship a Gibbeon, where he mentions, or in Jerusalem where David had brought the ARC. Eventually that will all shift over to Jerusalem, but at this particular time the altar was in Gibbeon, and so that's where Solomon goes and he offers a thousand burnt offerings on it. Now.

Second, chronicles doesn't highlight the failures of Solomon, as some of the other historical books do. We don't read about how Solomon failed to keep the high places, other centers of worship, from being set up because the Lord had only commanded worship in his particular and chosen place. But here we see Solomon doing what he should do, worshiping God where he had called worship, worshiping God in the way that he had called it. We also see that Solomon understands something about his task. Solomon is a King Who has vision, we might say, in leadership terms today. He knows what he is called to do. You hear it in his prayer, he says, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. He understands who he is and how he got that power. And then in his request in verse ten, we see what he asks for and why. He asks give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great? Solomon understands that he is to govern, he is to rule and he is to rule in wisdom and fair of fairness. He's to take God's law that has been given to his people and apply it in particular ways and all the complicated situations that come up in life. And he he knows that, he understands what he is supposed to do. He understands that people are depending on him and that the loving thing to do in service to them is to govern, and govern well. This might seem kind of obvious, isn't this, of course, what King is supposed to do? Perhaps you can feel the weight of it a little more if you compare it to what many kings have done. Instead, not every king recognizes that he is called to serve his people, to rule them and govern them and justice and fairness according to a moral lawn, and even under the authority of God. Now, many kings throughout history and even, as we'll see, some of Israels and kings, think that kingship is really all about them. They set up their kingdoms as if there are these kind of autonomous realms in which they rule and can do whatever they want. They don't seek obedience and service to God and service to his kingdom. They seek wealth, riches, honor, glory, Long Life and pretty much at whatever cost. It is not so with Solomon. Solomon, is his father before him, sees his rule as one that's conducted in service to God. God is the one who made him king. God is the one who made the people as numerous as they are. It is God who can give wisdom, and so it is to God that Solomon Goes. This is a good example to follow. Each of us in our lives are kind of like little kings. Now, you and I might be very, very little kings. Most of us don't have people under us as numerous as the dust of the sea, which we are called to govern and control, and most of us would praise God for that. That is a very hard task, but it's true that if we think about our lives, even those of you who are kind of young, you'll think that there are certain things that you are in charge of, responsibilities that you have, gifts that God has given you to use and to use in service to him. Each of us are citizens, after all, of the Kingdom of God,...

...just as Solomon was a citizen of that kingdom, and each of us, in our own particular little realms, as small as they may be, are nevertheless ours. There are as to care for. The gifts that we have, big get been given are the gifts that we are called to be stewards of. So, whether you find that you are in charge of just a few chores at home and maybe a few animals, or maybe you run a big corporation and have many people under you, or maybe you're a political ruler, or all kinds of things, we are all called to consider these callings and to act in accordance with God's will. We have people who depend on us. We are called to serve God as he has given to us, and so Solomon is a very good example of how we are to act. Solomon was a man like we are. He understand he and he understood this and he acted well. You see this in his obedience and in the worship that he offers, and you see this in the des is are he has for future obedience in his prayer. Solomon obeys when he goes and he worships in the way that he does, but he understands that there are difficult tasks ahead of him, complicated situations which will require as king wisdom, and so that's what he prays for. In praying for these things, Solomon does something else that we should pay attention to. He recognized his limits. The proverb say it, and it's true, that the wiser always seem to be the ones who get wiser. You notice that in life that it's to the wise that wisdom is added, and you see that here in examp Solomon's example. Even as he's on his knees praying for wisdom, he seems to have enough wisdom to ask for that very thing right. He recognizes his limits, he recognizes his needs. It's the fool king who doesn't do this right. It's the foolish person who says I can do whatever I want, I have all resources at my command, I I do as I choose, I pick my own ways. Wisdom is the careful, skillful application of God's Law to our lives. It's navigating all of the challenges that we have in this world in a skin skillful way. But there's all kinds of things that get in the way. These are the things that Solomon recognized. They are the things that get in your way, the things that get in my way, things like sin, for example, our own sins, our own blindness. We go after a good thing, but then all of a sudden we find temptations in US desiring an evil thing and it keeps us from the thing, the good things that we want. Sin Gets in the way. Another thing that gets in the way of wisdom is ignorance, simply not knowing the right thing to do, not not doing the right thing because you don't know it. Maybe it's because of youthfulness, maybe it's because of not paying attention, but either way, ignorance is a problem. Solomon knows that. You remember what David said to the rulers and the leaders. He says he's young, is he's a he's a he's inexperienced. That's what David says about his son. And Solomon doesn't say Gee, Dad, what are you talking about? I know what I'm doing. No, he says, Lord, please give me wisdom and knowledge. He recognizes his ignorance. In addition to sin and ignorance, of course, lack of skill, ability practice. If Solomon is young...

...and inexperience, he knows that wisdom takes time. Now, of course, God gives him this wisdom, and it seems like he gave a great deal of it all at once to Solomon. But, as we learn in the proverbs, wisdom is not something that's simply dumped on you and then you have it. It's something that's learned through practice and skill and seeking and paying attention and observing, and this Solomon did. As I said when I started here, the wise often seemed to be the ones who get wiser. It's a thing to pray for, it's a thing to seek after, and Solomn in seeking this, in this great example that we have before us, we should follow it. God's word calls us to it. It says to seek wisdom even more than we would seek gold or silver, more than wealth or honor. It is priceless, and Solomon understood that. He could have been presumptive upon God's promises. Well, God said he'd give me the kingdom. So there I have it. He could have been prideful and seeking to set his kingdom up outpart from God, but instead he humbled himself and went before God and sought wisdom and knowledge, not for himself, not so that he could have a fancy degree on his wall, as if that would mean anything to anyone. He sought it so that he could serve. He sought wisdom them so that he could love, so that he could take care of the people that God had given him. There's one more aspect of Solomon's wisdom in seeking wisdom that I want to point or your attention to. Solomon's Godliness in seeking wisdom wasn't merely recognizing his limits and seeking wisdom. It was also in seeking it from God in particular. Many people, perhaps even all people, have some sense of these obstacles I mentioned a moment ago. Have a sense of their sins, of their ignorance, of their lack of skill. Now may not always seem that the fool is often quite blinded to these things and parades himself forward as though nothing could possibly stop him. But I think even fools from time to time will meet up against these walls. The problem is they don't recognize them or admit them as such. But many people have a sense of these things, they have a sense of their sins, their ignorance, their lack of ability, but they seek them and all kinds of other places other than from God. Solomon didn't do this. He sensed his inabilities, he sensed his wisdoms and he his limits and he went to the one who could provide these things. Solomon didn't sit in his ignorance and say, well, I guess this is just the way it's going to be. Solomon didn't sit in his ignorance and in his youthfulness and his lack of skill and say, well, I guess I'll just try my best. No, he pursued it and he started by seeking it from God. Well, why God? Well, first of all, God said, ask what I shall give you. That's a pretty good start. God offered to him a gift, and Solomon said, I will ask this one. James Five, I hope you remember, says that if anyone seeks wisdom, let him ask God. In case you doubt that, and I think probably all of us have remember Solomon, it's kind of simple. He asked God for wisdom and God gave it...

...to him. God gives him permission to ask, and he gives us permission to ask. On this issue in particular, he says in James, if any of you lacks wisdom, ask for it, seek God and he will grant these things. He seeks it from God because God offers it to him. He's also wise to seek it from God because, I hope you know, God is the source of all wisdom. Where else would you go? Sure, there are wise friends and good counsel, you can read books and learn all kinds of things, but ultimately, where does all that come from? Where is the source of all knowledge and all wisdom? It's God. If you want to understand how you're the plumbing in your house works well, probably good idea to talk to a plumber who maybe even the one who designed the system. If you want to understand the world and how it works, if you want to understand the Kingdom of God and how it functions. Do you think it be a good idea to go to God, the one who made it, the one who rules over at, the one who knows all things in it? God is wise himself. He is the source of all wisdom. He's also the end of all wisdom. If wisdom is the application of law towards love and goodness, towards holiness and all good things, what are we describing when we say things like that? We're describing God, in His Holiness and his wisdom and his goodness. Our final goal, the end of wisdom, is to be close to God, and so it makes sense that in seeking wisdom, Solomon saw God. So, as I say, we can learn a great deal from all of this. A little foolish man seeks his own will, seeks his own wisdom, but a wise man sees what he does in service to God and he pursues that wisdom and that service. By pursuing the all wise God. He seeks God's blessing and all that he does, instead of setting up his own little fiefdom, he serves in God's instead of trying to be an autonomous ruler separate from all creatures and all and and God himself. He sees himself as a servant, and we should do that and whatever area of responsibility and authority we have been given, whatever calling God has placed on your life, seek God. He's the one who's called you to it, he's the one who's granted you these gifts. He is the one who is all wise and knows all things, and he is the one who invites you explicitly to ask for wisdom, not just so that you can do a better job, but so that you can serve him and draw closer to him in that service. To truly do that, however, we cannot merely look to Solomon, but we have to look to Solomon's God. It's not enough to simply go to examples, human examples, and say well, here is a good example of wisdom, and try to follow that as best we can. Now we have to go to the Lord himself, and even Jesus. To put it another way, it's not Solomon's wisdom we're seeking, but it's the wisdom of Solomon's God. That also means that, in true humility, we don't just ask, but we ask in faith that...

...he will grant these things we can do that because we are his children, we are his chosen servants, we are the ones whom God has called us to these things. Once we were enemies of God, once we were rebellious people, setting up our own kingdoms in our own particular ways, doing as we saw fit, but not any more. As those who have died in Jesus Christ, having this these particular sins of pride and presumption, crucified on the Cross and having been risen with him, we now belong to God, not as enemy kings trying to rule over him, but we belong to him as servants, as people that are in his kingdom seeking after his things. And so when we go to God and we seek for wisdom, we come in faith that he has granted these things to us. We don't have to demand them from God, we don't have to shake it out of him, we don't have to manipulate him. HMM, maybe if I ask for wisdom, I can get wealth too. Right. We simply go to him and ask for what we need. If you need wealth, ask him for that too. If you need long life and honor, ask him for that too. He's a good God. If that's what you really need. He'll give it to you. But in this life, more than all these other things which will be granted to us and be land our wildest dreams, in the glories and the kingdom to come. Right now, what we need is wisdom for moving forward through this life and service to our king who has died for us, who has forgiven us, who has called us into his servants. And as we ask that, we know that God will be faithful. He was faithful to Solomon and his promises to David. How much more faithful, to speak in that way, will he be to Christ? How much more faithful will the bother be to his son? As if he could be more faithful? He's infinitely so. But when g Jesus comes into the world to rule and reign as our king, there's not a single moment where wisdom is lost or not exercised. There's not a single aspect of God's kingdom which lacks wealth in some way. All that we see in God's blessing on Solomon is a small thing in comparison to the father's blessing on his son, our king, our ruler, Tick Solomon. He gave great wealth, a thousand four hundred chariots, twelve thousand horsemen. We have archeological evidence of some of these things. I read about a stable that was excavated at negudo housed about four hundred horses. That is a big stable. I think the biggest one I've ever seen is maybe eight horses, four hundred. The thing was made out of stone. SOLOMN has these cities set up. They're called, what does he call them? City chariot cities, these particular places that are devoted to housing his wealth and power. You remember what he says there, that the gold and silver were so common they're like stones. That's amazing. Do you think the son of God, our Savior, has anything less than that? Of course us not, because all the wealth in the world, and not just precious stones but even your souls, this is part of his wealth, it's part of his glory, part of his honor. These are the things...

...that the sun has, and so when we go to the sun, when we go to him, we don't just go to a human king and say, Jesus, I'd like you to help me resolve this case. We go to our king and our God, who is the all wise God and who promises to give us wisdom for this life that we might live it in service to him. And you know, when we don't, he's also faithful to forgive us. He not only provides us the wisdom we lack, but he forgives us for when we lack it. In all this, we find that we have a great God and a great king in Jesus, and so let us serve him as such. Let us go into our world and whatever positions that we have been given and do as Solomon did, to go to God in faith, to seek the things that he has and the things that he desires to give us, so that he might be pleased and others might be served in love. Let us pray.

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