DATE POSTED: Sunday, 2023-02-26
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Chronicles 7:12-15
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 …. 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.
OBSERVATION: Excitement builds as we construct a new church building, a workplace, a restaurant or anywhere that we frequent, and the temple built by Solomon was no exception. However, the grand opening was not just an opportunity for Solomon and his people to celebrate, but also the occasion gave opportunity for God to give Solomon a message for the people about their future plans to worship Almighty God. Meditate with me as we look into this Scripture that happens to include a very popular verse (vs 14).
APPLICATION: Christmas and Easter are two popular times on the church calendar when people will attend church, even if they don’t normally attend throughout the rest of the year. However, excitement still builds around the grand opening of a new sanctuary/worship center, so large crowds come to see what church leaders have to offer in the new, and often, larger facility. Earlier in this chapter we see where Solomon not only built the new, massive, facility, but he was not bashful in personally leading the crowd into worship and sacrifice at the new temple. That’s a bit unusual for current-day leaders of our respective country. At times we might hear of a president, or king, or queen, or prime minister attending a special church service, but seldom do they own any part in its construction or in the ministries that will take place there. However, Solomon didn’t just lead the pack in constructing the new temple, but he also led the dedication service of the new home of the Ark of the Covenant, and also in rededication of the people to Almighty God. For us today, news media might show up for the dedication of a grand, new building in town, and they will certainly show up if government leaders attend. But seldom will we hear highlights from the sermon, and we would hardly ever hear what God may have said to the temple leader, even if it’s a challenging message for the congregation. However, one of the beautiful advantages of having access to God’s Holy Word, is that we will often find interactive conversations between God and His church leaders. I discerned that God wanted Solomon to know that yes, He was enthused by the townspeople who showed up for the opening of the temple, but He also wanted them to know that there may come a time where He might find it necessary to get their attention again. This might happen through a drought, or it may happen through pestilences that will destroy their crops. He might also send plagues on them again, and they were very familiar with that during their last days in Egypt. That’s pretty tough stuff for these people who were just blessed immensely by the opening of the temple. But look at the message this sent to them, and to us as we read God’s Word and are reminded of the relationship between us and our God. Celebrations are awesome, and many will come to help us celebrate. But I believe that God wants us to know that He is particularly interested in a relationship with us. One that will celebrate in the good things that God does for us each day; in the needs that He meets each day, even when we don’t deserve or ask for it; in the challenging times that will come our way, for we know that we serve a God who specializes in things thought impossible by us; and in the times that we just worship and adore our King for who He is. Friends, let’s remember that we live in a world where sin abounds, and while we are in these mortal bodies we are susceptible to giving in to sin, so God made it clear that we must not only recognize who He is and what He can do for us, but approach Him in a state of holiness – humble ourselves and pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. I believe it is important that we not approach God in a trifling manner, but with due honor and respect, while being totally transparent (honest). Remember that saying – you can fool some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. Well, I believe that God fits in the latter case, for you will never fool our all-knowing God. So, God might be saying to us today, as He did to Solomon. He is thankful and blessed for our praises and our worship, but in every circumstance, always remember that He is still God. When things seem off a bit, there’s nothing wrong with God, instead humble yourselves, pray, seek the face of God, and turn from your wicked ways. It’s at that point that God will hear from heaven and heal our land. Every week will then become a celebration that our townspeople will want to come and witness!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God stands ready to heal our land if those who are called by His name will humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways. Let’s do our part and be ready to celebrate as God does His part!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m sure it must seem like we say those things that will help us to get our ticket stamped for entry into heaven, even though we tend to live pretty much like we’ve always lived. My heart was touched once again as I read the words You shared with Solomon for his people, for I believe these are still things we need to perfect in our lives still today. When an unholy people meet with a holy and righteous God, there is much to do in the cleanup of our lives. Please Lord, work diligently in our lives, so that we might have strength to work towards Your righteousness and live holy lives before a lost and dying world. As we meet to worship You today, please meet the needs of your people and heal the evil in our land, will causing the lost to find Jesus. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!