That night God appeared to Solomon and said, "What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!" Solomon replied to God, "You showed faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. O Lord God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?" - 2Chronicles 1: 7-10 (NLT)
King David had passed away. A most beloved and successful king of Israel had gone home to be with the Lord. There was still a temple to be built. There was still a kingdom to reign over. There was still the usual politics to deal with and the enemies of the Lord's people to be wary of. Amidst this backdrop the Bible introduces us to Solomon, the next King of Israel. The Bible tells us that God was already with Solomon and that He had made him exceedingly great. Solomon had already addressed the nation publicly and had offered a thousand burnt offerings to God. Then we come to the key verses above and see that God appears to Solomon. There are several things we can learn as Christians from this exchange which apply to us in our every day walks as well.
The first thing that stands out to me is the timing. I love the fact that God comes to Solomon at a time when in the natural, it appears things are going quite well. He is established as King and has already addressed the nation. He has acknowledged God and offered 1000 burnt offerings. He has a mandate to build the temple which God would not allow his father David to build. Yet amidst this seeming mountaintop experience God visits him and asks him - what do you want? I think sometimes we think the tests only come in the valley but here is Solomon being tested at the top of the mountain.
The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, "This is what the Lord says: "Because the Arameans think the Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the Lord.'" - 1Kings 20: 28 (NIV)
The King of Aram made the mistake once of thinking God was only God on the mountaintop. The reality we need to learn is that not only is God in both the valley and the mountaintop but we need His counsel in BOTH situations. We need to see the close relationship between both experiences. If we are blessed to find ourselves on the mountaintop it only means we are surrounded by valleys. If we find ourselves in the valley, we are surrounded by mountaintops. God is still God in both and we need Him in both. It may seem like we need Him less when we are on top but that is only an illusion. He still knows what is coming next.
Secondly, God will not withhold what we want. He says to Solomon - ask and I will give it to you! Wait a minute preacher! Are you saying that this applies to me too? Well, lets see if Scripture confirms itself:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. - Matthew 7: 7-8 (NIV)