Night Appearances I: Inviting Dependence

“Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

“In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, ‘Ask what I shall give you.’ And Solomon said to God, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place.  O Lord God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?’ God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king,  wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.'” 2 Chronicles 1:6-12

His father David, a man after God’s heart, had ruled Israel remarkably for four decades, and was now gone. He had taught him, prepared him, and best of all encouraged him to follow the Lord steadfastly. He had prayed over him, igniting faith in his faithful God and for His work. And now Solomon, fresh with royal favor, yet awash with grief and the gravity of his responsibility, saw the weighty task before him. And into this night of emotion, uncertainty, and wonder at what lay ahead, God Almighty appeared, and provided exceedingly beyond what Solomon could even imagine. (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Chronicles 28:20; 29:19,22-28; Acts 13:22; Ephesians 3:20)

In times of great and varied emotion, we can yearn for footing, a steady center, an anchor. We know we cannot rest on the strengths of those who have gone before, nor even of the favor and position and gifts afforded us. We cannot assume all will proceed as we plan or hope for, that the health or resources of the present will be here tomorrow. We need more certainty, more help. The Lord graciously comes. He invites us to articulate our incapacity, our specific needs, and in doing so, declare our trust in Him as all in all. He offers Himself as One who can be taken as His word.

Are we frozen in a place of swirling emotion, exhilaration blended with fear and doubt, humility at immeasurable blessing from the Lord mixed with ignorance how to invest it? Do we hear His voice, coming in the dark and asking, ‘What can I do for you?’ Would we spell out our needs and trust, implicitly and absolutely, that God will undertake for every one? That He is enough, and good, and worthy of our full dependence? (2 Chronicles 20:12)

Almighty Father, You have led this far and will not abandon me. Please keep me fully dependent on You, with eyes and heart fixed on Your sufficiency, to the glory of Your greatness.

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