I was once promised a job that was terminated before I could begin. The company unexpectedly closed my division. I felt humiliated and disappointed as I told my family and friends that the great opportunity I’d snagged was gone.
When I finally secured a new position, I believed all my hard work and tenacity had paid off. I felt worthy of the recognition I received. That’s why Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8:23–24 astounds me. On the day he dedicated Israel’s new temple, he prayed, “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.”
King David wanted to build a temple for Yahweh but was denied the honor because he was a man of war. The Lord wanted Solomon, a man of peace, to build it instead. It was an honor Solomon didn’t take for granted. As he prayed that day, he didn’t focus on his own accomplishments—something most rulers would do. Instead, he focused on God. He realized that Israel would not even exist without God fulfilling His promises. He also knew that he needed to rely on God’s continued mercy and grace.
Shortly after being hired for my new position, I realized I was surrounded by extremely talented people. I was intimidated by my intellectual superiors. But Solomon’s gratefulness to God and his acknowledgment of God’s work in his life convicted me that my goals and ambitions needed to change. I began shifting my focus at work. I thanked God for a meaningful job and the honor of being challenged by my brilliant colleagues. As a result, I began listening for what God wanted to do in and through me. Since then, I’ve been able to help others in ways that do not necessarily advance my career but have honored God and built relationships.
Solomon gave God all the credit, and we need to do the same. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” For Solomon it was a temple (1 Kgs 8:29). For you, it may be mentoring someone, visiting a nursing home or saying yes to a mission trip. Whatever task God gives you, thank Him for keeping His covenant of love with you.
Biblical references are taken from the New International Version (NIV).