And 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 ( 2 Chronicles 7:1 ).
It"s a reminder of the dedication of the tabernacle in the wilderness where the fire of God came down and kindled the coals upon the altar and consumed the sacrifices. And the glory of God filled the tabernacle in the wilderness. And now the same thing happened as God"s glory fills the temple.
And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD"S house. 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 they worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And then the people for seven days offered sacrifices unto the LORD. They sacrificed twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So all of the people in the kingdom dedicated the house ( 2 Chronicles 7:2-5 ).
What a barbecue they had!
And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music to the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all of Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meal offerings, and the fat ( 2 Chronicles 7:6-7 ).
And so they just made a place out to do it in the yard there.
Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people ( 2 Chronicles 7:8-10 ).
So that should be the way people leave the fellowship. Glad and merry in heart for the goodness of God.
And Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king"s house: and all that came into Solomon"s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. Now the LORD appeared ( 2 Chronicles 7:11-12 )
After the whole celebration and the thing had died down, the Lord then appeared.
to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. And if I shut up heaven that there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land ( 2 Chronicles 7:12-14 ).
This promise of God is an answer to Solomon"s prayer. As Solomon foresaw the calamities that might befall the nation in their sinning against God, and if they turn and repent and pray, then hear Thou from Thy dwelling place in heaven. God is now answering the prayer of Solomon saying, "If these things come, and if my people who are called by my name will just humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land."
I believe that this scripture today is perhaps one of the most important scriptures to be brought before the people of our nation. The people who have been called by His name. United States has been considered as a Christian nation. I didn"t say it was a Christian nation. I said it"s been considered as a Christian nation. But how far we have moved from true Christianity. How far we have moved from God in our national life, in our local life. And we see the plague that Solomon could foresee. The judgments of God. It is time for God"s people to humble themselves and pray and to seek His face and to turn from their wicked ways, because God will hear. God will forgive. And God will heal the land. That"s His promise.
Now my eyes will be open, my ears will be attentive unto the prayers that are made in this place. For I have chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and shall observe my statutes and my judgments; then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and you shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it to be a proverb and a byword among the nations. And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them ( 2 Chronicles 7:15-22 ).
Now God"s warning to Solomon. The warning is... It is, first of all, a promise. "Solomon, if you just walk in my ways, I"ll keep the covenant of David and I"ll prosper you on the throne. But if you forsake Me, Solomon, then I"m going to forsake you. You"re going to be cut off and these calamities are going to come. This beautiful house that you"ve built is going to be ruined. People are going to say, "How in the world did God allow such desolation to come?" And people will say, "Because they forsook God.""
Now many times when God warns us of something, possible danger, we say, "Oh, come, that"s all right. I"ll never be troubled there, Lord. You know, why don"t You save Your breath, God? That"s a situation I would never forsake You, Lord." Now the Lord is warning Solomon about forsaking Him.
I have learned to heed every warning God gives, because I have found that I have never fallen but what I wasn"t warned of God beforehand. And many times when the warning came, I felt that they were totally unnecessary. I thought, That"s an area where I could never trip or be tripped up. But in the scriptures, it is interesting that God seemed to warn people of the very thing that later became their stumbling block. Of the very thing that later on happened. And here is Solomon now still fresh with this glorious experience of the power of God demonstrated. The fire of God kindling the altar and the sacrifice. The glory of God filling the house, the cloud of God and all of this glorious experience and God is saying, "Now, Solomon, don"t forsake Me." And I"m sure Solomon in his heart was saying, "Oh God, I could never forsake You. I could never worship other gods. There is no God like unto Thee who keeps covenants and who shows mercy. Lord, I could never forsake You."
But what happened to Solomon? He forsook the Lord and began to worship and serve other gods. Tragic. The very thing that God warned him about was the very thing that he did. And that is so often true. Thus, we need to take heed to every warning that God gives us. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week after Epiphany