This morning in my quiet time I found myself venturing over into 2nd Chronicles. It was one of those mornings where I actually found myself kind of stuck. The Bible is such a big book and so rich in variety. Okay Lord, what do you want me to see today? What haven’t I covered thoroughly, who haven’t I studied? What do you specifically have for me this morning? Whenever you find yourself stuck in life, just ask God. He is faithful. The Lord does not abandon those who search for him. (Psalm 9:10)
Reading plans are also something I highly recommend to get in the habit of daily reading.
I began flipping through these worn-down pages until…2nd Chronicles…I haven’t been here in a while. Something in my spirit rested there and locked in. So I read on. Now the beginning half of 2 Chronicles shares the very detailed process of how Solomon went on to build the Lords prophesied temple after succeeding the throne of David, his father, who was a dynamic and strong King after God’s heart. Then we see the character of Solomon in taking on this temple project to fulfill its success, which is nothing short of admirable. It only makes sense with David as his father; teaching him, guiding him and showing him how to glorify God in everything. Solomon was tactful, focused and used much wisdom in his leadership all the way through unto completion.
As a growing leader, lets look at 7 acts of godly leadership we can apply to our own mission from Solomon’s noteworthy example as he built the Lord’s Temple.
1. He asked The Lord for wisdom and knowledge to lead properly.
That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
Solomon replied to God…”Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly,for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”
God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people— I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested…”
2 Chr. 1: 7, 10-11
Here much like, Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9 and John 14:13-14, God is simply urging us to just ASK. Sometimes I believe God is more willing to give than we are willing to ask! We may think its too small, too insignificant or nothing we can’t handle and yet He delights in the smallest details of our life (Psalm 37:23) and want’s to be actively involved. When it comes to leadership it would be foolish to not consistently consult to God for His wisdom in the plans laid out for us, especially when we’re leading others. Solomon’s simple plea was, Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead your people properly. These should be the words on every godly leaders lips. And God commended him for having a heart with pure motive to help His people rather than for riches or fame.
2. He brought in people whose expertise and gifts were in that area.
“So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David.” 2 Chr. 2:7
The truth is that no leader knows it all. While many look to us for all of life’s answers an honest and authentic leader has no problem recognizing this or saying the not-so-famous word “I don’t know. Let me find someone who is more knowledgeable in this area”. In fact, we’re only more effective when we can pinpoint our weaknesses and consult to someone who’s more experienced in that area for our own growth and those we’re leading, rather than operating from a place of ignorance and forfeiting a more powerful potential. Pride always comes before the fall. And although he even obtained the foreign expertise of pagan workers they gained the opportunity to share about what God was doing. How awesome!
3. He distributed the work.
Gods Kingdom is in the business of working as a body. We know that more can get done and our efforts can be multiplied when more hands are on deck. It goes to say, two heads are better than one! Any truly effective leader can attribute to the fact that no one can do it all alone. Even Jesus said it would be better He that goes (John 16:17) so the Holy Spirit could be received and do His work in a multitude of people which would further the gospel at multiple success. It’s our goal to acquire the strengths of those within the body and distribute the work accordingly so that we can be more fruitful in the works Gods called us to.
4. He remained in an attitude of worship
A lot of work went into building this grand temple for the Lord. He’d spent about 7 years constructing it (1 Kings 6:38). Solomon enlisted a force of 153, 600 workers to make this project happen. That is a lot of people! I can’t even imagine the organization that went into this just to pull the workers together and manage them in full alone! Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks we carry day in and day out that we lose the heart and excitement of the vision that drove us into the mission in the first place. Yet Solomon continued to keep His eyes on the Lord and dedicated himself to God’s mission for seven years!
David knew for sometime that it would be his son, Saul, and disappointingly not himself, who would fulfill the building of the Lords temple. I can only imagine, up until the point Saul was inaugurated as King, the conversation and praises that went out about the vision of this great temple that was going to go forth. And Solomon took on the task from a place of humility knowing that every pillar built, every figure carved into the walls and every gold nail placed was all in reverence to the Lord and in honor to his father.
5. He obediently followed the Lord’s instructions
“He then cast ten gold lampstands according to the specifications that had been given, and he put them in the Temple. Five were placed against the south wall, and five were placed against the north wall.” – 2 Chr. 4:7
How many of us know, the Lord speaks not to be heard but to be obeyed. When God gives us a mission he does it with the end in mind. And His way is the perfect way. Anytime we step out of that instruction we do so only robbing ourselves of the greatest reward God has in place. No matter how small, every act is a test of obedience. Half obedience is disobedience and God calls for all of our devotion, trusting that His plan is perfect. Solomon made sure to follow even the smallest detail of Gods instruction showing his faithfulness to God’s plan throughout the entire project.
6. He followed through unto completion.
Goodness, I am more than positive that at some point this work got tiring. Remember, they didn’t have the same advantages we have today in construction with the various vehicles and technology at our disposal. This is seven entire years of straight labor we’re talking about! Between the hands on labor, the management for thousands of workers, conflicts, weather difficulties and life’s own way of complicating our personal lives, Im sure there was a point they wanted to just be done, give up and go back to their previous way of life. It was taking so long. The dedication that had to take place day in and day out for this to be successful amazes me!
Despite all obstacles and temptations to resort to an easier way of life Solomon had the dedication and consistency to follow through all the way until completion. God loves a hard worker. He made the decision that no matter what, before His fathers grave and the God of Heaven, he would fulfill the plan he was divinely assigned to because it was bigger than himself. We live in a generation where commitment in relationships, to jobs and even to God is of little value. But a godly leader soon realizes this is the only way to act if we’re going to be fruitful in the purpose God has for us.
7. He gave God the glory before all people.
“Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer.” -2 Chr. 6:12
I’ve seen people in churches hesitant to lift their hands in praise because of the opinions of those around them watching! Our humanity really struggles with showing the humility of being broken down to a place of surrender. For Solomon to do this before the entire assembly of all of Israel is a HUGE deal! First of all, he was a king and it was unusual for a king to bow down before someone else in front of his own people which meant submitting to a higher authority. But his actions spoke louder than ever. He acknowledged that God was the ultimate authority and his glory was displayed in the seven years of completed work. When he was done building the temple and God’s promised was fulfilled the expression of his lifted hands said, “By the power of God it was done and so He gets all the glory.” Never be afraid to give God all the glory no matter who’s watching because a leader led by God knows that is the purpose of our very lives after all; to let God be seen and glorified to all people by the work of our hands.
Although later we see Solomon’s downfall by succumbing to his emotions, by getting involved with various pagan women and worshiping their gods thereby turning away from the Lord, rather than standing in the will of God (1 Kings 11). We can still take the time to admire his earlier years under the direction of God and apply the qualities necessary to carry out our missions in a godly manner.
I’d love to hear feedback from you on what may have encouraged you the most in this post or if there’s anything God has revealed to you personally. Comment below!