May 31 | Daily Devotion

May 31 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a complete reading of the passage

Lectio Semi-continua: a shorter reading of the passage

Lectio Divina

The story of Solomon’s magnificent reign would have filled the exiled people of God with a sense of national pride. The kingdom of Israel under Solomon’s reign is described like Arthur’s legendary Camelot. The borders of the nation stretched from Iran to Egypt; the national economy experienced unprecedented growth, which caused the price of valued commodities to drop; and massive public works projects, like the temple, altered the Jerusalem skyline. While Solomon’s achievements are lauded, his work on the temple takes center stage. As ever, the Chronicler wants to remind the people that, first and foremost, they are a worshipping community!

We learn from 2 Chronicles 1 that there were actually two “temples” during David’s reign, one in Jerusalem, where David brought the famed Ark of the Covenant, and another in Gibeon, ten kilometers away. These temples were semi-permanent places of worship, imagine the large (and very expensive) tents you might see at a state fair, surrounded by beautifully designed public entrances, courtyards, and gates. (The word temple literally means “house” or “dwelling.”) As we have seen, worship at the temple complex was a grand affair. Solomon was embarking on something even grander.

What he needed most was wisdom in order to carry out the work God had called him to. Next to salvation and the forgiveness of God, wisdom is probably every person’s greatest need. The best definition I can think of for wisdom is the ability to handle life, with all its challenges, in a successful manner for our own good and the good of those we serve. Who couldn’t use some of that?! God heard Solomon’s prayer for wisdom and granted his request.

Including in Chronicles the story of Solomon’s decision to choose wisdom over all the gifts he could have requested was intended to encourage the people to follow in their idolized hero’s footsteps. Ask for wisdom to carry out the tasks at hand! Solomon needed wisdom, the exiled community needed wisdom, and we need wisdom today. Go ahead and ask right now for wisdom to handle the challenges you are facing. God promises to graciously give this unbelievable blessing to anyone who comes asking in faith (Jas. 1:2-5). May God grant your request and bless you with the wisdom you need to handle life successfully!

Lectio Divina  is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the Senior Pastor of  Calvary Church  in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of  A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.