Leadership 24

This week we have been reviewing the prayer of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7, at the dedication of the magnificent temple he had led the people of Israel to rebuild. This happened at a time of great prosperity, unparalleled unity and unprecedented outpouring of God’s blessings on His chosen people.

We realize that it was not Solomon who brought this period about. He was riding on the shoulders of the Shepherd-King of Israel, his father, David. And it was because of God’s promises to David that the people of Israel were blessed and that this event could come to pass.

Solomon, tragically, was a leader who began well but who did not finish well. He started with an attitude of humility, a reverence for the one true and living God but finished a broken, doubting and sad individual and poor leader for the kingdom. This is a story far too common in the biographies of leaders both of our national life and of other areas of influence.

He started as a man who humbly sought God’s will… and God’s face. He did so with an undivided heart. He asked God for wisdom and God gave him not only wisdom but so abundantly that he became the wisest king the Israelites had ever known. But yet he ended foolishly. And it was for one reason and only one.

He stopped seeking God’s face.

Solomon was a knowledgeable, educated man. He turned the best of his thoughts, the fruit of his education to learning about the God he served. He sought God’s face, we can imagine, in prayer and meditation. He read his father’s writings and sang the songs David wrote.

But somewhere along the way his own reflection in the mirror became more attractive to him than God’s face. He began to seek after the pleasures of his flesh and the worldly offerings of his kingdom. He started to believe his own press clippings and lived an isolated, insulated life in the palace.

And he stopped seeking God’s face.

This is where the wheels fall off the wagon for many of us. Something becomes more attractive, more alluring, more captivating to us than knowing the Lord. And as we seek those things we forsake the One who can truly satisfy us.

We have stopped seeking the face of God when we begin seeking satisfaction through ways that are in conflict with God’s standards and God’s character. We have stopped seeking the face of God when we are more concerned in our prayer life with getting something from God than from simply being satisfied WITH God.

God called His people back to Himself by saying, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and SEEK MY FACE and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven….”

Today, are you seeking the FACE of God or His hand? Do you really want to know God or are you looking for a divine handout? The people most satisfied with God are those who seek His face, His favor, His presence… above any other.

What do you seek?

FOR MEMORIZATION: If you forsake the Lord, He will forsake you.      2 Chronicles 15:2b

FOR REFLECTION: My granddaughter McCail is just over a week old as of this writing. Last week I held her for a few moments when she was awake and as she stretched and I looked into her eyes for one of the first of what I hope are a million times, she reached up her hand and touched my face. Translated: She touched my face. It was new to her. She touched it once, and then again. She sought my face. I would have given her anything in that moment had she asked me. It is that seeking that pleases the Father. Touch His face. Seek Him. And you will find what you need.

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