Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king – wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.” ~2 Chronicles 1:11-12
Every leader must establish a list of priorities, then learn to put first things first. When Solomon became king of Israel, he was given the opportunity to ask God for anything. No doubt, King Solomon faced the same options we have today:
Easy things first – He could have chosen to focus on the easy tasks ahead of him.
Fun things first – He could have chosen to focus on riches or fame.
Urgent things first – He could have asked for help in building the temple.
Hard things first – He could have sought favor with those who didn’t like him.
First things first – Instead, he chose to seek wisdom so he could glorify God.
What Is Your Role?
Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with
a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 2 Kings 20:2-3
Hezekiah was only one of two kings in Judah who completely followed the Lord. In the days of Esarhaddon king of Assria, Hezekiah lay on his deathbed. Isaiah the prophet had predicted the king’s imminent death and told him to get his house in order. But Hezekiah poured out his heart to the Lord and reminded God of His covenant, and how the king had faithfully led Judah. As Isaiah left the royal court, God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and determined to heal him. God kept the king alive for another fifteen years.
God did for the king what Hezekiah could not do for himself. Both God and Hezekiah knew their roles:
Hezekiah’s Role God’s Role
|Maintain a humble heart and power||Demonstrate grace|
|Submit to God’s values||Control the destiny of the land|
|Ask God to meet needs||Respond to needs of people|
|Stay faithful to the covenant||Stay faithful to the covenant|