In The Word
Read: 2 Chronicles 7-8
7 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Certainly He is good, certainly His faithfulness is everlasting.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the musical instruments for the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His faithfulness is everlasting”—whenever David gave praise through their ministry; the priests on the other side blew trumpets and all Israel was standing.
7 Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that wasbefore the house of the Lord, for he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings there, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat.
The Feast of Dedication
8 So Solomon held the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly that came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. 9 And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, because they held the dedication of the altar for seven days, and the feast for seven days. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy in heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David, to Solomon, and to His people Israel.
God’s Promise and Warning
11 So Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s palace, and successfully completed everything that he had planned on doing in the house of the Lord and in his palace.
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, 14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there always. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, to do according to everything that I have commanded you, and keep My statutes and My ordinances,18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’
19 “But if you turn away and abandon My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight; and I will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all peoples. 21 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done these things to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods, and worshiped and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”
8 Now it came about at the end of the twenty years in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2 that he built the cities which Huram had given him, and settled the sons of Israel there.
3 Then Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. 4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities which he had built in Hamath. 5 He also built upper Beth-horon and lower Beth-horon, which were fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars; 6 and Baalath and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots and cities for his horsemen, and everything that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, Lebanon, and all the land under his rule.
7 All of the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel,8 that is, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the sons of Israel had not destroyed, Solomon raised them as forced laborers to this day. 9 But Solomon did not make slaves from the sons of Israel for his work; for they were men of war, his chief captains and commanders of his chariots and his horsemen. 10 These were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250 who ruled over the people.
11 Then Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.”
12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord which he had built in front of the porch; 13 and he did soaccording to the daily rule, offering them up according to the commandment of Moses, for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.
14 Now according to the ordinance of his father David, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their duties of praise and ministering before the priests according to the daily rule, and the gatekeepers by their divisions at every gate; for this is what David, the man of God, had commanded. 15 And they did not deviate from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites in any matter or regarding the storehouses.
16 So all the work of Solomon was carried out from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord, until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.
17 Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and to Eloth on the seashore in the land of Edom. 18 And by his servants Huram sent him ships and servants who knew the sea; and they went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir and took from there 450 talents of gold, and brought it to King Solomon.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the offerings and sacrifices. The glory of the Lord filled the temple so full that the priests could not even enter. All the people bowed down before Him with their faces to the ground as they worshiped and praised Him; then Solomon and the people offered still more sacrifices. Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Think about that. Imagine standing before 22,000 oxen that were used to plow, work, and haul crops; imagine 120,000 sheep that were used for food and for clothing. These thousands of animals were freely given to the Lord. The worship team sang using the instruments that King David had made, including trumpets to loudly proclaim His praise. The gifts and worship were both extravagant and sincere, and they moved the heart of God.
The Lord appeared to Solomon that night and said He heard Solomon’s prayer. He promised Solomon blessings if he remained obedient, but He also warned Solomon of what would happen if he and the people turned away from Him. Sadly, Solomon did turn away from the Lord in his later years. It is not enough to just start well; we must remain faithful to His Ancient Paths and finish well. Stay passionate in your giving and worship. Strive to remain humble before Him, to spend time in prayer, and to passionately seek His face and presence every day.