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We have here the account of the Lord's gracious answer to Solomon's prayer. The effect it had upon the people. Beside these things, here is related the circumstance of the Lord's visit to Solomon by night.
2 Chronicles 7:1
It is remarkable, that this gracious manifestation of God's acceptance in the fire descending and consuming the sacrifice is not noticed in the parallel passage in the book of the Kings. We therefore may find cause from it to bless the Holy Ghost for this duplicate of the history in this book of the Chronicles, by which the Reader is desired to take notice, that this part of the word of God is not, as some have injudiciously thought, a superfluous repetition of the sacred history. If there was but this one thing contained in all the Chronicles which had not been brought before the church in the former account, this alone would be enough to prove its value. The fire coming down from heaven, and consuming the sacrifice, was the gracious method the Lord was pleased to adopt by way of testifying his divine approbation. We have several examples before this of Solomon's sacrifice upon record. If the Reader wishes to compare scripture on this point, I refer him to the case of Aaron in his offering of the sin-offering, Leviticus 9:24 : the memorable case of Gideon, Judges 6:21 and Elijah, 1 Kings 18:38 . But Reader! when you have turned to these and other instances which may be found in scripture, do not overlook the vast and infinite concern we have in this doctrine as it refers to the Lord Jesus. When the Son of God, for the purpose of redemption, took upon him our nature, and became a sacrifice for our sins; the fire of God's wrath was manifested in the sufferings of Jesus. And what an approbation was given to this redemption by Jesus, when the voice from heaven publicly proclaimed: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased! Precious Jesus! how lovely and gracious dost thou appear in all thy redemption-work for the souls of thy people.
God is awful even in his mercies. The fire which consumed the sacrifice, had it consumed them would have been their just desert: And in that it consumed the offering, it implied as much. The fire of God's wrath burns against sin: That sin transferred to the sacrifice, there it breaks forth. Oh! precious, precious Jesus! what love was thine to take my sins, and to sustain the fire of thy Father's wrath, that I might escape, and thou endure. Oh! for grace to love thee as thou hast loved me!
How grateful is praise from a poor sinner to the Lord, when the Lord had pardoned his sin, and received him into favor. It is really beautiful to behold the joy of Solomon and his people upon this occasion.
While the Lord was so gracious, the king will go on to seek blessings. Not only the temple, but the court, shall be hallowed. Lord, I would desire grace that everything may be sweetly sanctified by Jesus, and in Jesus. When I am most happy in ordinary things, let my soul be very jealous over its affections, that I may be sure my happiness is still in Jesus, and flowing from Jesus. The promise is, men shall be blessed in him. And how shall I look for anything to be blessed out of Jesus? They who would seek any one comfort without Jesus, it is to be feared their joys upon other occasions are not in Jesus. Reader! mark this thought, and see whether it suits your estimate and standard of real happiness. The return of the people to their habitations after so rich a festival, may serve to teach us with what spiritual joy God's people should return from the house, or the table of Jesus, after the enjoyment of a feast indeed of fat things, of marrow, and of wine on the lees well refined. Oh! thou dear Redeemer! what a feast dost thou hold! and what holy joy ought the living upon thy body and blood to impart to thy hidden ones!
This gracious second visit of the Lord to Solomon is related, 1 Kings 9:0 . In addition to what was there observed, I only beg the Reader to remark with me how the Lord delighteth in mercy. If we read the Lord's answer with an eye to Christ, how beautiful is the paraphrase. "If to prompt my people to call upon me I withhold their comforts: If the influence of my spirit be restrained, like heaven shut up; or if I permit the enemy to distress them, like the locusts devouring the land; yet under all these discouraging circumstances, if my people feel their souls humbled, and shall look with an eye of faith to my dear Son, mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the supplication of my people, for I have placed salvation in Zion for Jesus my glory." Isaiah 46:13 . Oh! how sweet, how very sweet, are all the Old Testament mercies, when explained to our souls with an eye to the New Testament blessing in Jesus!
How gracious is this declaration to Solomon considered in his own personal character. I would have the Reader make a proper distinction between mercies which are general and those which are special, and in particular, God's promises to Israel as a nation were sweet; but Solomon needed those promises as personal to himself. And here they are delivered. Reader! remark those promises were concerning the kingdom of Israel. How far they referred to Solomon's personal and everlasting happiness is not said. They seem to refer to temporal blessings.
The Lord here takes in the whole of the people as a nation. And when we compare the sequel of the history of Israel, as a people, to what is here said, nothing can be more plain than that God, foreseeing the apostacy and corruption of his people, held forth to them the sure consequence of sin and transgression.
How encouraging is it to see the gracious answers of God to the cries and supplications or his people. Surely, as the prophet said upon another occasion, the God that answereth by fire let him be God. But oh! how sure is it, that the Lord God that hath answered, and doth answer, by the acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus, he must be God. Yes! blessed Lord! thou hast heard, and thou hast answered, in the rich redemption of thy dear Son, and manifested that in him shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
Lord! I would look up to thee that as my eye and my soul desires to be everlastingly fixed on Jesus, thou wouldest grant me all that is needful for me in all my straitenings and difficulties. And if the heavens are shut up, or if sickness, pestilence, or evil, have their commission to devour; yet, Lord, look, we beseech thee, unto Jesus, and accept poor sinners in him. Pardon and forgive thy poor creatures, and let the blood and righteousness of Jesus plead when sin most cries out against the iniquities of thy people. Consider, Lord, that they are thy people, the work of thine hands, and whom thou hast taken into covenant with thyself. Be very gracious, Lord, for thy name's sake, and let not iniquity be our ruin. See, we beseech thee, we are all thy people?
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14