Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 8:54-66; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10; 1 Kings 9:1-9; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22;1 Kings 9:10-14
Today was a great day in the life of Solomon. He and the Israelites were coming to the end of a fourteen-day celebration to dedicate the Temple of the Lord. He had waited for this day since his father ,David gave him the charge to build the Temple when he was just a boy.
The king and all of Israel brought thousands of animals to sacrifice on this special day. After Solomon finished making prayers and petitions to the Lord he stood up and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel. And before they could start the fire to sacrifice the first animal God showed His pleasure by sending “heavenly” fire to burn up the sacrifices.
Can you imagine putting an animal on the altar and then “poof” fire comes out of the sky and instantly burns it to ashes?
Solomon was probably on cloud nine. For God to display His approval meant he had successfully completed the job he was born to do. While he was still enjoying his success the Lord appeared to him and told him three things:
- I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices.
- At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.
- Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart. (2 Chronicles 7:12-16)
God encouraged Solomon with the promise that if His judgment (by drought, locusts, or a plague) should fall on the nation for their sins, then they need only to turn to the Lord in earnest humility and repentance and they would find forgiveness and restoration. God told Solomon exactly what to do if and when his kingdom what struck with chaos or catastrophe.
We may not have droughts, grasshoppers and plagues… but we do have volcanoes erupting, tsunamis, tornadoes and earthquakes, not to mention all of our man-made problems. God’s promise to Solomon still holds true in 2012…
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
Heavenly Father, our country, our world needs your healing. This scripture is talking to US– Your people; those who profess to be Christians. Help us as the church to live out this scripture daily. As Dr. Wayne Lee said in a message to our church, “God expects his servants to lead amid catastrophic and chaotic changes in culture and societies.” Help us Lord to humble ourselves, pray, seek Your face, and turn from our sin so that you can heal our land and use us for Your Glory in these challenging times.
In Jesus Name— Amen and Amen
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: 2 Chronicles 8: 1-18; 1 Kings 9: 15 through 1 Kings 10: 13; 2 Chronicles 9: 1-12, 1 Kings 10: 14-29; 2 Chronicles 9: 13-28; 2 Chronicles 1: 14-17