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What did Solomon desire?

5th March 2013

Every one knows King Solomon asked God for wisdom. Actually he didn't. 
His request was child-like. Simple ,unpretentious, he desired to know God the way his dad, David did. His youthful, Godly passion fired him to know the secrets of the universe- to know the very heart of God. To know the ways of just governance-of himself and of the nation.
He knew his famous father had a heart that pleased God. He wanted that too. In a dream Yahweh said "ask for whatever you want me to give you". A blank cheque from the creator of the universe! And Solomon awoke and asked just this- for "a hearing heart".
The Lord made the offer and that is what out of all heaven and earth's infinite riches Solomon requested-a heart to hear from God! And that opened the favours of heaven! The Lord gave him great intelligence, intellectual motivation, enormous memory, and a vast capacity to integrate knowledge. Through Solomon's decisions there came phenomenal social benefits; a thoroughly righteous judiciary and legal system, efficient public service, one of the fastest growing economies , foreign policy successes, global trading networks, magnificent agriculture and urban building development and domestic well being the like history has never before seen. The nation ‘ate and drank and they were happy' is the chroniclers simple summary of Israel's national life. Solomon asked for a heart to hear Yahweh's voice. That's all he wanted. That request turned the key of every door to human fulfilment and vitality, personal and national .
So wonderful these years of rule that Jesus chose Solomon as His comparison.
Like the abundant fruit of our Bible- sourced stable democracies, the fruit of this wisdom was amazing but as time went by it became mesmerising. Solomon looked down upon the peerless bounty (his gold revenue alone was in todays money 950 billion annually) and listened less to the voice of Yahweh he so yearned for as a youth. He accumulated hundreds of live-in princesses donated by the chiefs and kings of surrounding nations and began listening to their novel ideas about the meaning of the universe and how to communicate with unseen powers. The curiosities buried in the ancient practices of dead and diseased cultures came to intrigue him. His hearing heart simply hardened. Then one day Solomon actually contradicted the once thrilling voice of Yahweh and like a spoilt brat, spat-‘no'.
The consequences personally and nationally of one who had known but now turns his back was devastating. Personal rights were denied, liberties and freedoms removed as harshness and cruelty flooded into Israel's domestic life through that deep and horrible breach. Finally and because of this Israel forfeited its Covenant place. Yet by mercy and its Redeemers Godly blood has now transmorphed into a new Kingdom for all humanity to ‘feed on the richest food ,to be clothed in salvation and to overflow with joy'. There is no more. This is it for ever. Let us guard our hearts to hear!
Ian Clarkson

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