2 Chronicles 1:10-12 “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of Yours?" God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern My people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have."
Solomon ascended to power after his father David put to rest all the wars around them. This created the opportunity to build the temple and nation of Israel that God had promised. Not overcome by his power, wealth, and prestige Solomon’s first request was for wisdom and knowledge to govern his people. It was this purity of heart that sought the best interests of others rather than seeking his own self-interests. Instead of placing wealth, prestige and retribution first, he sought what would benefit his people. This was just the opposite of the religious leaders in Matthew 23:25 that Jesus described, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
Solomon in the beginning was a beautiful example of what Christ wants each Christian to be. Not looking out first for self, but for others. Not seeking to win and accumulate at the cost of others but looking to bless and benefit others. Not carrying hurts and grudges but seeking harmony and peace. James 3:17-18 paints an even stronger picture of a wise and pure heart: “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” What Solomon gave away was richly returned in wealth, riches and honor. Let’s not just walk as Solomon did in the beginning, but finish where he did not, by living out Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Let us not impinge Christ’s work by self-centeredness, but rather glorify God by being other-centered and pure in heart as Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help live out the Christian life: “Satisfaction” and “Transformation – Part 2.”