2Ch 6:24 “Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this temple,
2Ch 6:25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to them and their fathers.
2Ch 6:26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them,
2Ch 6:27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.
2Ch 6:28 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is;
2Ch 6:29 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple:
2Ch 6:30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men),
2Ch 6:31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.
2Ch 6:32 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for the sake of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple;
2Ch 6:33 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
2Ch 6:34 “When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, wherever You send them, and when they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name,
2Ch 6:35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
2Ch 6:36 “When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near;
2Ch 6:37 yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness’;
2Ch 6:38 and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been carried captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and toward the temple which I have built for Your name:
2Ch 6:39 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.
2Ch 6:40 Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.
2Ch 6:41 “Now therefore, Arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, And let Your saints rejoice in goodness.
2Ch 6:42 “O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”
As I, Solomon ended his my, “fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.” The priests could not enter the temple because “the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.”
“When all the children of Israel saw … the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endures forever.”
I and my people offered sacrifices before the Lord. “So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.” 2 Chronicles 7:1-5.
For seven days the multitudes from every part of the kingdom, from the borders “of Hamath unto the river of Egypt,” “a very great congregation,” kept a joyous feast. The week following was spent by the happy throng in observing the Feast of Tabernacles.
At the close of the season of reconsecration and rejoicing the people returned to their homes, “glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the Lord had showed unto David, and to me, Solomon, and to Israel His people.” Verses 8, 10.
I had done everything within my power to encourage the people to give themselves wholly to God and His service, and to magnify His holy name. And now once more, as at Gibeon early in my reign, Israel’s ruler was given evidence of divine acceptance and blessing.
In a night vision the Lord appeared to me with the message:
“”I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 2Ch 7:13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 2Ch 7:14 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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2Ch 7:15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.2Ch 7:16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
Had Israel remained true to God, this glorious building would have stood forever, a perpetual sign of God’s especial favour to His chosen people.
Isa 56:6 “Also the sons of the foreigner” God says, “ Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—
Isa 56:7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
In connection with these assurances of acceptance, the Lord made very plain the path of duty before the me: my biographer wrote the following about the conditions:
2Ch 7:17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments,
2Ch 7:18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’
Had I continued to serve the Lord in humility, my entire reign would have exerted a powerful influence for good over the surrounding nations, nations that had been so favourably impressed by the reign of David my father and by the wise words and the magnificent works of the earlier years of my own reign.
Foreseeing the terrible temptations that attend prosperity and worldly honour, God warned Solomon against the evil of apostasy and foretold the awful results of sin. Even the beautiful temple that had just been dedicated, He declared, would become “a proverb and a byword among all nations” should the Israelites forsake “the Lord God of their fathers” and persist in idolatry. Verses 20, 22.
Foreseeing the terrible temptations that attend prosperity and worldly honour, God warned me against the evil of apostasy and foretold the awful results of sin. Even the beautiful temple that had just been dedicated, He declared, would become “a proverb and a byword among all nations” should the Israelites forsake “the Lord God of their fathers” and persist in idolatry. Verses 20,22.
Strengthened in heart and greatly cheered by the message from heaven that my prayer in behalf of Israel had been heard, I now entered upon the most glorious period of my reign, when “all the kings of the earth” began to seek my presence, “to hear my wisdom, that God had put in my heart.” 2 Chronicles 9:23.
Many came to see the manner of my government and to receive instruction regarding the conduct of difficult affairs.
As these people visited me, I taught them of God as the Creator of all things, and they returned to their homes with clearer conceptions of the God of Israel and of His love for humans. In the works of nature, they now beheld an expression of His love and a revelation of His character; and many were led to worship Him as their God.
The humility at the time I began to bear the burdens of state, when I acknowledged before God, “I am but a little child” (1 Kings 3:7), my marked love of God, my profound reverence for things divine, my distrust of self, and my exaltation of the infinite Creator of all—all these traits of character, so worthy of emulation, were revealed during the services connected with the completion of the temple, when during my dedicatory prayer I knelt in the humble position of a petitioner.
Christ’s followers today should guard against the tendency to lose the spirit of reverence and godly fear. The Scriptures teach men how they should approach their Maker—with humility and awe, through faith in a divine Mediator. The psalmist has declared:
And the great King above all gods. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Psalm 95:3-6.
Both in public and in private worship it is our privilege to bow on our knees before God when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Luke 22:41. Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, “kneeled down, and prayed.” Acts 9:40.
Paul declared, “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 3:14. In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. See Ezra 9:5. Daniel “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.” Daniel 6:10.
True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there.
And as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanour, the feeling that inspires it will be deepened. “Holy and reverend is His name,” the psalmist declares. Psalm 111:9. Angels, when they speak that name, veil their faces. With what reverence, then, should we, who are fallen and sinful, take it upon our lips!
Well would it be for old and young to ponder those words of Scripture that show how the place marked by God’s special presence should be regarded. “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet,” He commanded Moses at the burning bush, “for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5.
Jacob, after beholding the vision of the angel, exclaimed, “The Lord is in this place; and I knew it not…. This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16, 17.
In that which was said during the dedicatory services, Solomon had sought to remove from the minds of those present the superstitions regarding the Creator, that had beclouded the minds of the heathen.
The God of heaven is not, like the gods of the heathen, confined to temples made with hands; yet He would meet with His people by His Spirit when they should assemble at the house dedicated to His worship.
Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. Psa 33:13 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
Psa 103:19 The LORD has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. From the place of His habitation
Psa 77:13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God?
Psa 77:14 You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
Although God dwells not in temples made with hands, yet He honours with His presence the assemblies of His people. He has promised that when they come together to seek Him, to acknowledge their sins, and to pray for one another, He will meet with them by His Spirit.
But those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail. Of such the Lord declares,
Mat 15:8 “‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Mat 15:9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'”
Joh 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20.
Pride of prosperity