Archive for November 8th, 2007

2 Chronicles 7

The second half of 2 Chronicles 7 contains a pretty famous promise from God to Solomon and us.  The Message version is a little different but the meaning is the same: “If I ever shut off … and my people respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health”.  God gives us the formula to restoration when we fall outside His will.  He tells us four things we need to do to get action from Him toward restoration.

1.       Respond humbly

2.      Pray

3.      Seek His presence

4.      Turn our backs on our wicked lives

This isn’t rocket science guys.  When we screw up we have to get right with God which means we have to REPENT.  That means we take action to correct the relationship and turn around and do the right things.  God promises to respond to our repentance this way.

1.      He’ll listen

2.      He’ll forgive

3.      He’ll restore

But God goes further here and reminds Solomon of the “covenant guarantee” that is in place.  Check this out: “if you live in my presence…pure in heart and action, living the life I’ve set out for you, attentively obedient…then I’ll back your kingly rule… But if you … betray…ignoring …taking up…then the guarantee is off”.  God makes it clear that the covenant is a two way deal here.  It is an “if-then” kind of situation.  Obedience brings the entire power of God to empower; disobedience removes that from the equation completely.  We have so much at our fingertips if we only learn to walk with God.  God wants to bless us indeed and give us access to all He is but we have to do our part in that equation.  That means we live in His presence and walk in obedience.  At first glance that may seem like a lot to do but consider that fact that His will for our lives is perfect and He has the advantage of seeing clearly things we can at best see dimly.  He knows what is in our best interest and that is His will for our lives.  Why would we choose not to live that way?  Stubbornness?  Sin?  Stupidity?  We need to get this right.  We need to live in His presence His way!

2 Chronicles 7

The temple is complete and now it is time to dedicate the hard work to the Lord and Solomon does it in style.  He begins by praying and the result of his prayer is pretty powerful: “a bolt of lightning out of heaven struck….and the glory of God filled the Temple”.  How is that for the power of prayer guys?  Solomon asks God to show up, and He does in a very visible way.  But check out this: “God so filled the temple that there was no room for the priests”.  Wow.  Of course God did not physically fill the place but His presence and glory was so strong that the priests couldn’t even get in.  That is the kind of presence I hope to experience with God someday – to be so overwhelmed and filled that there is no room for anything else.  That He just floods my life and the places I am with His glory.  What a day that must have been.  But how did the people respond – this is what should happen when we experience God:

1.      Fell on their knees

2.      Bowed

3.      Worshipped

4.      Thanked

5.      Proclaimed His goodness

God showed up and the people responded.  But Solomon set the plate – he completed the temple as God directed and prayed for God’s blessing upon it.  After God responds they go into a huge sacrifice time and spend a week “dedicating the altar and another week celebrating”.  That is some serious dedication and focus on God.  And it wasn’t just a few.  Scripture tells us people came from all corners of the kingdom near and far.  They were there together celebrating God and putting Him in His rightful place.  I love what the Word says about Solomon’s work: “Everything was done – success! Satisfaction!”  Solomon got it done.  He did it well.  He did it completely. And when finished he remembered the reasons and turned everyone’s attention on God.  He focused, sacrificed, dedicated and celebrated the hard work that the people had done for many months.  But God was front and center.  It was not about him and his great wisdom and leadership.  It was about God and “all the good God had done”.  Do you celebrate God’s goodness?  Do you tell others just how good our God is?  God is good, all the time.  We need to spread that truth by what we say and how we live!

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