And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”
Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked 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.”
So Solomon came to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel.
-II Chronicles 1:6-13
I was reading this today for my time in God's word, as it was the next scheduled reading I am on for my reading through the Bible. It seemed like a fitting text, though, for starting a new year. I read it, and thought how insightful Solomon was to ask for wisdom, and not any of the worldly things that most of us would immediately have wished for. And then I considered how even all of that great wisdom didn't stop him from making poor decisions in his own personal life, since we know he took many wives, and most of them didn't even worship the one true God. Then I contemplated what he could have asked for that would have been even better than wisdom, and I am really not sure what the answer would be. The best answers I could come up with was that God would always be with him, but then I considered that even if God is with you, if your heart is not turned to follow Him, it could mean only destruction or sadness. Then I decided that asking God for a heart that pleased Him and walked in His ways might be the best thing. This thought gave me a feeling of awe, because what has God granted to His people today through the work of the gospel, but new hearts? We see that it was prophesied in Ezekiel 36:26 that God would do this very thing for His people when He said,
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.