MAY 24 READINGS...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
The Temple is completed...and the king bows himself in the sight of all the people in humble worship to the Lord. When he finishes his prayer of dedication the Lord responds by sending fire from heaven to consume the offering and sacrifices from the altar. The glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple...the word we use for this is Shekinah. Now the Lord would meet the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement in the Holy of Holies. The Spirit of the Lord would be there among His people. This now became a very holy place, because the Lord was there. It was not that God was contained or restricted and had to stay in the Temple, for what building could hold God? It was that this was the place the Lord chose to meet His people and receive their offerings and sacrifices. This was God's appointed place. Today it is not the church building that is the Temple of God, but His Temple is the hearts of those who have trusted in Him through Jesus. The buildings we meet in are not holy in themselves, but they are dedicated to the Lord, and are holy because they are the place where the Lord meets His people...it literally could be anywhere that the people of God meet. Remember the promise..."Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I will be there in the midst of them."
The Lord speaks to Solomon, and renews the covenant promises that the Lord gave to his father David. You will notice that this covenant is a conditional covenant. In order for the good promises of this covenant to be fulfilled, the people of God must walk in faithfulness with God. If they abandon God and go after false gods, they will not be blessed, but cursed. The Lord told Solomon that He had chosen the Temple for the place of sacrifices, and that at times there would be pestilence and plagues, but He also gave them a promise. "If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn form their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." This is what was needed from the Lord's people then, and it is still needed today. The Lord puts the onus on us...the people of God. We are the only ones on earth with a relationship with God that allows us to biblically pray. But we need to come humbly and broken before Him...not filled with pride or arrogance. We are called to seek His face, literally His presence...we need a desire for our lives to be all about Him. He promises to hear our prayers, and answer in a way that brings healing to our land. Those who reject God cannot do this, nor do they desire to do this...we are the people of God...we are the watchmen for our generations...it is incumbent upon us to pray for our nation, our cities, our churches, and our homes.
Please share any thoughts or insights you have from today's readings. As a child of God, a believer in Jesus, seek the presence of God in your life, humble yourself before Him, and pray...it could be that He will hold back His judgment on our nation, and give us one more opportunity for revival.
TOMORROW'S READINGS...2 Chronicles 8:1-18 & 1 Kings 9:15-10:13 & 2 Chronicles 9:1-12 & 1 Kings 10:14-29 & 2 Chronicles 9:13-28 & 2 Chronicles 1:14-17