By Kathy Collard Miller @KathyCMiller
When God asks Solomon, “Ask what I shall give you,” (2 Chronicles 1:7), He is asking a question most likely we would like God to ask of us: “Tell me anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” Although God’s question is in the form of a statement, some biblical translations frame it as a question, a question showing God is omniscient. God knows Solomon’s reply—asking for wisdom—which fits with God’s will.
Omniscience describes God’s knowledge, specifically, knowing everything. There is not a single thing He doesn’t know. But Solomon doesn’t know all. God invites Solomon to examine his main motive for life, and Solomon asks for wisdom. Good choice. Unfortunately, a current motive doesn’t guarantee long-term godliness. God knows Solomon’s debased future choices, yet God still gives Solomon a choice.
It’s a perplexing situation but all of God’s questions throughout the Bible and His invitations to every one of us are based on the same thing. He knows every single detail about our lives even before we make any decisions—because of His omniscience—yet He still gives us choices. Psalm 139:16 tells us:
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”
God knows everything about Solomon; his character and his future actions, and His own plan for Israel He will do through Solomon. We focus a lot on Solomon’s reply, and what we might reply, but God is revealing truth about Himself: His knowledge of everything and His graciousness in giving something to someone whom He knows will not always make good choices.
God doesn’t have to wait and see how our lives turn out before He can decide what to do with us. He is aware of all of time at once; He is not bound by human time. He already knows the beginning from the end; He’s the Alpha and the Omega. During God’s conversation with Solomon, this truth is emphasized: “For the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought” (I Chronicles 28:9). God doesn’t learn, He never forgets, He never misunderstands, nor is He ever surprised by anything. Additionally, He never thinks, “But what if …” or “If only …” We do. But He doesn’t.
What comfort for us. We never have to wonder, “What would God have done if Solomon had asked for something totally selfish?” We never have to wonder, “What if I’d made a different choice? Would God have done something different?”
These are deep questions, and we will never know fully here on earth how God’s will and our choices coordinate. But one thing we need never wonder is, does God know the future? Because Nothing is past, present, or future to Him. He knows all and never has a false, uncertain, or confusing thought. How incomprehensible to our limited minds. We can’t grasp it.
About the author: Kathy Collard Miller loves to share about God’s nature. This devotional is adapted from her book God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature (co-authored with her husband, Larry). Kathy lives in Southern California and is a mom and grandma. She is a speaker and the author of 58 books including Bible studies, commentaries, and Christian living topics.
Join the conversation: How would you answer the question God asked Solomon?