A Covenant Promise for a Humble People (2 Chronicles 7; Psalm 136)

Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 7; Psalm 136

The reign of Solomon was a glorious time in Israel’s history. With humility, Solomon had requested the LORD give him wisdom (2 Chronicles 1:10), and God had honored his request by promising him not only wisdom, but also “riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before,” neither would there be any succeeding Solomon. (1:12).

Having fulfilled his father’s desire to build a house for the LORD, Solomon dedicated the Temple and adorned it with furnishings reflecting the majesty of the LORD (2 Chronicles 2-5). The LORD visibly descended upon the Temple in a cloud that displayed His glory and presence among His people (2 Chronicles 5:13). In 2 Chronicles 6, the king had led Israel in worshipping the LORD, affirming to the people the hand and providence of God was upon them as His chosen people (6:1-11).  Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the Temple was recorded in 2 Chronicles 6:12-42.

The LORD, having heard the prayer of Solomon, responded with a confirmation that was magnificent to behold (7:1-22).

2 Chronicles 7:1 – “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.”

So great was the presence of the LORD, that we read: “The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house”
(2 Chronicles 7:2).

2 Chronicles 7:3 – “And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he [the LORD] is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

The king led the people in giving offerings as they “dedicated the house of God” (7:5). The priests also began their ministries in the Temple and around the altar, as the Levites took up the instruments David had prepared for the occasion, and began to praise the LORD in music and with the sound of the trumpets (7:6-7). For fourteen days, the people were united, as they celebrated the dedication of the Temple (7:8-9).

The celebration being ended, Solomon “sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel His people” (7:10).

2 Chronicles 7:11 gives testimony of God’s grace, and blessings upon Solomon, for we read: “…all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected” (7:11).

The LORD responded to Solomon’s prayer, and confirmed He had heard his prayer, and chosen the Temple as His “house of sacrifice” (7:12). Affirming He would hear and answer the prayers of His people when they sinned, were assailed by troubles, and taken captive, the LORD promised:

2 Chronicles 7:13–1413If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turnfrom their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We find three promises in God’s covenant with Israel (7:14). When calamitous times would come upon that nation because they had sinned and broken covenant with Him  (7:13), if the people would: “Humblethemselves…PraySeek His face…and Turn” from their sins, the LORD would forgive the sins of His people and heal the land (7:14b).

Closing thoughts2 Chronicles 7:14 was God’s covenant with Israel; however, those same promises should reflect the longing in every believer’s heart for their own nation. The troubles and adversities a nation and people face should move believers to humble themselves before God, confess their sins and that of their nation, seek God’s forgiveness, and claim His promise that He will heal their land, families, churches, and nation.

I have no greater way to conclude today’s Scripture reading, than to commend to you the reading of Psalm 136 – “Give Thanks to the LORD!”

Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith