Tuesday, May 8, 2012

the two things necessary to lead

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 who were before you, and none after you shall have the like."
2 Chronicles 1:11-12

It is amazing that young Solomon makes this request of God. After preparing to reign in Israel by offering 1000 burnt sacrifices at the tent of meeting, Solomon is approached by God, Who offers to give to Solomon anything he would ask of Him. Solomon calmly asks for the wisdom and knowledge to lead God's people. And God is impressed with the quality of Solomon's request. God is so impressed that he blesses Solomon far greater than the young king asked. He is given wisdom and knowledge, along with riches, possessions, and honor that exclusively mark his reign.

The character with which Solomon begins his reign is impressive. Nothing compares to his story. He is cognizant of the deep spiritual duties of organizing and leading Israel's kingdom. And he also knows that the kingdom ultimately is not his, but instead belongs to God. It is that conviction that drives Solomon's request of God. And that is what God rewards in the young king.

Solomon ruled a kingdom so blessed with wealth and honor that the ancient world flocked to Jerusalem to see what it was all about. But Solomon in all that glory was only a steward over the True King's realm. That principle captures my imagination at the moment. All authentic Christian ministry is also a stewardship. And in what we do in service to Christ today as Christians within His Church, we are only serving God and His "great people". In that sense, Solomon's humble submissive request should well up in our yearnings. The church needs people who are humbly committed to wisdom and God's knowledge to lead her forward. Anyone can pick up a book on organizational tips and tricks. Almost anyone can write one too. But only God can tell me what I need to know to serve Him and His people. Only God can help me live out the gospel in this needy world and live God's saving purposes out to all people. And He will still give wisdom and knowledge to those who seek Him.


Craig said...

I generally agree, but would have to go a step further and say that it has to be "applied" wisdom & knowledge that makes a great leader. He surrounded himself with wise counsel (1 Kings 12:6). However, it didn't take long for the kingdom to split once he was gone because of his disobedience to God (1 Kings 11:1ff). In fact, the only reason there was forty years of peace was because of God's promise to David (1 Kings 11:12). He had no vision for the future (I.e. successor). It seems to me that he compromised obedience to God in order to keep peace through idolatry and his foreign wives. It appears that wisdom & knowledge were not the answer(according to Ecclesiastes) and neitherI were riches. I agree, it is easy to write a book (as well as a webpost, blog, FB post, news article, etc.) with "tips and tricks" about leadership, but you are right, leadership is stewardship. But, stewards see beyond the here and now. How can we take what has been given to us and make sure we do our very best (with God's help) to ensure eternal results long after we are gone?

Martin Burch said...

agreed that Solomon ended so miserably. Quite a warning because he began in such a promising and amazing way!

Tejas said...

Solomon was really great... at the beginning. I think he eventually got hubris at the whole "wisest man in the world" thing and gave in to pride; which comes before the fall, no? Great thought-provoking post though, I must admit!