What is your Heart’s Desire?

If God visited you tonight and promised to grant you any request, what would you ask for? 

Really, what is your heart’s deepest desire?

King Solomon was given this very opportunity as he took the throne in ancient Israel.  He apparently understood the formidable challenge of stepping into the larger-than-life shoes of his father, King David.  Perhaps he felt ill equipped.  Solomon  asked for wisdom and knowledge “that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

God seemed pleased with Solomon’s request.  He gave Solomon exactly what he had asked for and more.  In addition to wisdom and knowledge he also promised “wealth, riches and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after will have.” 

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Jacopo Tintoretto c 1545

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Jacopo Tintoretto c 1545 from wikimedia

God gave Solomon his heart’s desire.

King Solomon presided over the glory days of Israel and was recognized as the smartest, richest and most powerful guy in the neighborhood.  He was indeed on top of the world.

I’ve always thought Solomon’s request was an honorable one that showed appropriate responsibility and humility.  He asked for the ability to effectively lead God’s people rather than for his own self-gratification.

This time, however, as I read his request on my yearly way through the Old Testament, God’s reply of “Since this is your heart’s desire…” got me thinking.

How did that work out for Solomon?  Was his heart’s desire satisfied?  

For the surprising answer to those questions, read Ecclesiastes.  Solomon called it all meaningless and a chasing after the wind. I conclude that his wealth, power and wisdom did not ultimately satisfy his heart’s desire.

Solomon had the world, but he had lost the presence of God.

Perhaps Solomon’s desire for his own wisdom and knowledge revealed a misplaced dependence on himself, as if he were a receptacle for God’s gifts to be used according to his desires.  Which he did.  In defiance of God’s instructions for kings, he married a ridiculous number of women, some for political reasons, and built up an impressive military.  Who needs faith in God when you have more wealth, power, women and wisdom than anyone else?

What if Solomon had asked for a deep and abiding relationship with God?  What if Solomon had asked to be a conduit for the love, grace, and wisdom of God to flow through him in his leadership, rather than a receptacle for wisdom to be used at his discretion?  I suggest that he would still have had a successful reign.   He would have had God too.

God is the only One who will satisfy our hearts’ deepest desires. 

Do we ask for Him?

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13

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About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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10 Responses to What is your Heart’s Desire?

  1. Tim says:

    Your conclusion about desiring a relationship with god before everything else reminds me of the answer given by a reader of Mark Lowry’s blog years ago when ran an informal contest of what people would ask Jesus if they saw him face to face. His readers came up with the usual types of things: Is grandma in heaven, why did so-and-so have to die, did you really create the earth in 7 days.

    The reader who won, though, took a much different tack. She said she was having a hard time coming up with the right question until she decided to imagine Jesus sitting beside her on the couch. Only one question came to mind as she envisioned him there: “Jesus, can I have a hug?”

    I still get all misty-eyed when I recall that.

    Tim

  2. Bronwyn Lea says:

    Yay! A post from Judy!

    Firstly, a reference to the top of the world always puts the carpenters song by the same title in my head. Thanks for my mental iTunes for the day :-)

    Secondly, what a thought-provoking post. I had not before considered how Solomon’s initial great start in desiring and seeking wisdom ultimately landed up with his Ecclesiastes experiment. Great thoughts to mull on today.

  3. Debbie says:

    Judy, I love this insight! I never thought of it this way and I missed that ‘since this is your heart’s desire” . You have me praying for a deep and abiding relationship with God tonight. Truly only He satisfies. Thank you and God bless you!

    • Judy says:

      Hi Debbie, I never paid much attention to that phrase either until this time through. There’s always more to learn and discover, isn’t there? Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. bennetta faire says:

    Judy, please forgive me for being remiss in contacting you. You’ve been on my heart for some time–and then I get distracted, ah well…. I’ve been concerned about your absence, whether something awful was going on. So, though I didn’t speak up, I did pray. God bless you, and I’ll try to stay better in touch–love, sis Caddo (who may be changing blogs again, but I’ll let you know)

    • Judy says:

      Hello Caddo! So nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for your concern and prayer. Nothing awful here – just a busy schedule:). I’ve had to back-burner the blog for a while, but every once in a while I just have to scratch the blogging itch. You are a blessing, Caddo.

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