It took 7 years to build the Temple and it was finally complete. At last, the Israelites had a beautiful place to worship God. Now, it was time to celebrate so, Solomon praised God, and asked Him to bless Israel. Consequently, God returned with some promises: not just an unconditional one, but a very conditional one. What happened when the Israelites broke that promise?
2 Chronicles 6 – Solomon Praises the Lord
Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. 2 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!”
3 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: 4 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, 5 ‘From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. Nor have I chosen a king to lead my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as the place for my name to be honored, and I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”
7 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, 9 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’
10 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel.”
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer. 13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 7 1⁄2 feet long, 7 1⁄2 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet high and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven. 14 He prayed,
“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.
16 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow my Law as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 17 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David.
18 “But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 19 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you. 20 May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
22 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar at this Temple, 23 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.
24 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn back and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave to them and to their ancestors.
26 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.
28 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 29 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.
32 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, 33 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.
34 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to you by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, 35 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.
36 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near. 37 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ 38 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their captivity and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— 39 then hear their prayers and their petitions from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 “O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place.
41 “And now arise, O Lord God, and enter your resting place,2 Chronicles 6 NLT
along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation;
may your loyal servants rejoice in your goodness.
42 O Lord God, do not reject the king you have anointed.
Remember your unfailing love for your servant David.”
2 Chronicles 7 – The Dedication of the Temple
When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,
“He is good!
His faithful love endures forever!”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God. 6 The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, “His faithful love endures forever!” They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the Lord. Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood.
7 Solomon then consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar he had built could not hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrificial fat.
8 For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. 9 On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. 10 Then at the end of the celebration, Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.
The Lord’s Response to Solomon
11 So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace. 12 Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said,
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. 13 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. 14 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. 15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 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.
17 “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, 18 then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.’
19 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 20 then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make it an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 21 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’
22 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why he has brought all these disasters on them.’”2 Chronicles 7 NLT
God Kept ALL His Promises!
Solomon acknowledged how God is faithful in keeping His promises and praised Him greatly. He fulfilled the promise of…
- … The Israelites living in the Promised Land.
- … Building the temple that He made to King David.
- … Solomon, son of David would be King.
Then we have a HUGE CONDITIONAL promise. That’s an “if, then” promise. “If” they do this, “then” this will happen. “If” they don’t do something, “then” this will happen.
Clearly, God kept one of those “if, then” promises. His descendants DID abandon Him and disobeyed His decrees and commands. They did worship other gods and God, faithful that He is, kept His promises and uprooted them. They spent 70 years in exile.
“If My People…”
Verses 13 and 14 of chapter 7 are often repeated and applied to America. Especially in these past few years as we lived through a plague. However, it was originally written to Israel. Interestingly, also, is that this promise doesn’t appear in any other book. It must have stood out to Ezra, having been born in captivity, that their suffering in exile, the loss of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, all could have been prevented!
Pastor Sandy Adams comments…
This is the verse that’s often applied to America, and quoted as a formula for revival.
I’ve heard people claim that if the Christians in our country humble themselves, and repent, and ask God to heal America, He promises to do so… Knowing God, I wouldn’t put it past Him. But I cringe a little whenever we take a promise that was made to Israel and apply it to America, or the church. The shoe doesn’t always fit.
We need to model this verse… The corrupt condition of America is largely the fault of a proud and lukewarm church. We should humble ourselves – repent of our wicked ways – ask God to bring revival and healing to our country… Hey, this is a principle for America – but it was a promise to Israel.Sandy Adams
Nevertheless, His CONDITIONAL promise does apply to us! Just like if the people behaved, the land would prosper. If they didn’t, they’d be punished. The thing about punishment is that the person or people being punished has to learn from his or her or their mistake(s). In the case of a whole country, EVERYONE, or at least a good majority of them have to obey. Usually, unfortunately, it begins with the leadership as did much of Israel’s idolatry.
Idolatry Robs You of God’s Blessings
God is a jealous God. Put before or venerate above Him ANYthing or ANYone and He has reason for judgment — punishment. Consider what insurance companies consider “Acts of God”…
- Hurricanes – I’ve lived through 6 or 7 of them!
Christians are criticized for saying that a major destructive hurricane, tornado or wildfire was “deserved”. Maybe, maybe not. We’ll have to ask God when we see Him in person. Now, man can take SOME credit in building on the ocean (greed, pride and vanity), or manufacturing a virus in a lab (power), accidentally starting a wildfire (stupidity). Nonetheless, we DO live in a fallen world. Satan is the ruler down here for now.
Evil is the absence of God just like darkness is the absence of light.
Continue to live in darkness, far from God and that’s where you’ll stay.
Turn to the Light. Follow the Light. Submit to the Light. That is Jesus – Yeshua Hamashiach!
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.