This chapter is so closely connected with the former, that it may be considered but as a continuation of the same subject. The cloud which filled the house, as an intimation of the divine presence, gives occasion to Solomon to bless God for this grace manifested.
In the opening of this chapter, I beg to refer the Reader to the history, as we have it almost literally the same, 1Ki 8. Reader! what a blessed dispensation are we brought under! Jesus sweetly visits his people, and manifests his presence, not in clouds and darkness, but under the enlightening influences of his Holy Spirit. Oh! what a blessed thought! our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost. He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you, saith our precious Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19; John 14:17.
Observe, Solomon first turns to the people, as if by an enumeration of the divine mercies he aimed to raise their souls into an holy flame of devotion, before that he fell upon his knees to present himself and the people before God. Do we not feel our minds irresistibly led to contemplate the Lord Jesus in this? How doth our glorious High Priest and king go in and out before his people, in all the ordinances of worship? And how doth he, by the sweet influences of his grace, raise up our souls to the love of the Father himself and blessed Spirit, in the remembrance of the great things in redemption-work which he hath wrought for us! here, indeed, in the true sense of the word, the Lord Jehovah hath fulfilled all his gracious purposes; for in the person of Jesus the promise is accomplished. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price, or reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. Isaiah 45:13.
Those verses throw a light upon the parallel passage in the book of the Kings. While Solomon addressed the people he stood before the altar. But when he came to address the Lord he fell upon his knees.
I refer the Reader to the observations made on this prayer already in the Commentary on the 1Ki 8. And only by way of enforcing what was there said, I would beseech the Reader, as he goeth over every part of it, to keep an eye stedfastly fixed on our glorious Solomon, whom the king of Israel here personated as his type. It is Jesus alone who is the intercessor, the high Priest, the advocate of his people. By virtue of his blood and righteousness the divine favour can alone be obtained. And therefore, in all the supposable cases here enumerated, of error, infirmity, transgression, and sin; oh! what a resource is it, that the eye of Jehovah is eternally fixed on the Lord Jesus whom this temple typified. Reader! while our souls follow the spirit of Solomon's prayer, that the Lord God of Israel would own his house, would hear and accept prayers; would remember his covenant engagements, would compassionate the frailties of his people, and, even when in an enemy's land, if their eye and their heart should be directed in supplication towards this house as the house of the Lord, that then mercy might be shown them; shall we not discover what pure gospel runs through every part of it, and that the whole sum and substance of it is Jesus? Oh Lord God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, well may we in the contemplation of thy rich salvation in Jesus take up the language of Solomon and say, Arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place: thou and the ark (the Jesus) of thy strength. Blessed be the Lord our God who in him hath confirmed to us all the sure mercies of David. Isaiah 55:3.
Oh! most gracious, most holy, most blessed Lord God Almighty! what expressions of thankfulness can be found sufficient to speak thy love in the unequalled gift of thy dear Son! Was it not enough, O thou Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, that from thine own free grace thou didst set up thy dear Son from everlasting, as the constituted head of thy church and people; but through so many ages intermediate to his coming thou shouldst be pleased to keep up, by so many ways, and in such various representations, tokens, and symbols, and types to shadow forth the glories of his person, and the vast importance of his salvation? Oh! Lord! I would not only beseech thee, like Solomon, to bless me in all the circumstances in which I may be placed, and to pardon me in all the transgressions into which I may fall, for Jesus's sake; but I would pray also, Holy Father, that thou wouldest give me grace to appreciate and esteem this inestimable gift of thy dear Son in a manner suited to the vast importance with which thou hast been pleased to give him. I see, Lord, that thine infinite mind hath been occupied in this grand concern, as it relates to the salvation of poor sinners, from everlasting. Thou hast called upon the world to behold him whom thy soul loveth. Thou hast manifested such a display of love and grace in this solemn transaction of redeeming thy church by the Lord Jesus, as challengeth the whole earth to contemplate the person of Jesus whom the Father so loveth. Now, Lord, hear me for one sweet mercy which in its bosom includes every other; cause me so to love the Lord Jesus as thou lovest him. Let Jesus be precious to my soul as he is to my God and Father. And while I pray thee to look upon the face of thine anointed, and accept my soul in him; oh! for grace in mine own soul to look unto Jesus with that fixedness of rapture and joy, until my whole heart be found going out after him in such earnestness of desire as can be satisfied with nothing beside. Hear me, Lord and Father, for this mercy! I am encouraged to ask it in faith, because Jesus himself encourageth me so to do. For he hath said, In that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, in my name he will give it you. Ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full. Thus my joy will be full when my soul is full of Jesus! let this be the very language of my heart, Whom have I in heaven but thee; and who is there upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee? My flesh and my heart faileth, but thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany