I spent my first Monday morning of 2016 in 2 Chronicles 9. With Solomon. And the Queen of Sheba. She had heard of this king who had the jaw-dropping fortune. And the world-renowned wisdom. And she had to see it for herself. So she began her journey. And we aren’t just talking a 70-mile trip that would take a couple of days. This was a 1,500 mile adventure.
When she finally arrived, she did so with gifts and questions. Hard questions. The same kinds of questions that were asked of Daniel. Questions that were tied up in knots and difficult to answer. Riddles and enigmas designed to trap and trip up. She was testing his renowned-wisdom. And there wasn’t one of them that he couldn’t answer. There wasn’t a single knot that he was unable to untie. And when she saw for herself the renowned-King’s wisdom, she was breathless. At his wisdom. And the house he had built. And the food on his table. And the seating of his servants. And the service of his waiters. And his entryway by which he went up to the house of the LORD. It all took her breath away.
he had exceeded his fame
His fame that ended her journey was better than the fame that began it. When I looked up the Hebrew word for exceed, God continued the conversation He started last week. The one with Job and his latter days being more blessed than his beginning. And the double portions. And the adding and increasing. There was a list of cross-references buried in the lexicon definition, but one of them provided the explanation of how Solomon’s fame could possibly be double what the rumors were. After all, aren’t rumors typically embellished? Exaggerated? Dramatically added like the proverbial fish story? How could reality possibly be double the rumors?
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Jesus Himself explains it even further: Whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance. Solomon increased his fame because he was hungry for more knowledge. Remember back in the beginning of 2 Chronicles? When God said “Solomon, I’ll give you anything – just ask Me!” Remember what he asked for? Wisdom and knowledge. A craving to be taught. A want to be teachable. LORD, make me teachable. And while he was taught, he increased in learning. And his reality outgrew his fame.
And that learning that’s increased? It’s anything by which any one’s mind is captivated.
So I begin 2016 with a simple prayer formulated by three small words:
LORD, captivate me
Captivate my mind with Your Word. May it be attractive to me. And hold my attention. And enthrall me. And captivate me. All year long. Like a masterpiece painting in some Parisian museum that I can’t seem to take my eyes off of. LORD, I ask that You start this new year by increasing my learning. Make me teachable. And may my learning now be a snowball effect for the next 361 days. Captivate me, LORD. That my knowledge of You would exceed exponentially. And other people would recognize it. LORD… captivate me.