At the beginning of his reign, King Solomon sought the Lord. God said to him, "Ask for whatever you want Me to give you." (2 Chr 1:7) Solomon asked for the wisdom to govern God's people, and it was granted to him in abundance. But as we see later on, wisdom by itself did not automatically convey obedience. Solomon brought trouble on Israel by his unfaithfulness to God; he was led astray and enticed by the world, taking foreign wives for himself and worshipping foreign gods. (1 Ki 11:1-13) As a direct result of his actions, the kingdom was split in two, creating a hostility between north and south for generations to come. Furthermore, he introduced an idolatry into Israel that would take hold for the next 300 years, ultimately culminating, through lack of repentance, in the exile to Babylon.
If only Solomon had asked, in addition to wisdom, for an undivided heart to follow the Lord and to walk in obedience! For the heart of man is a slippery thing, and his will is weak. Undoubtedly God would have graciously granted this petition as well, which would have spared both Solomon and the nation of Israel much grief.
We can't re-write the past, but we can learn from the error of others. Just as Solomon sought the Lord at the beginning of his reign, it's a good thing for us also as this year begins to take time to seek God for His will, and to lay our petitions before Him. Let us remember to ask the Lord daily to give us an undivided heart to follow Him in all obedience and surrender of our will, that we might have His blessing, be spared the devastating consequences of sin, and walk ever according to His truth.
Teach me your way, O LORD,|
that I may walk in Your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear Your name.