October 20, 2015.
Daily Reading: II Chronicles 6-10.
Background: II Chronicles 1-5.
Concepts and Connections.
Solomon’s blessing and prayer: The majority of this text can be found in I Kings 8:12-15, see this section for notes. In short, Solomon blesses the people and prays a prayer of dedication after the completion of the house of the Lord. Important things to note are the humility of Solomon, his exalting of the Lord, the fact that Solomon knew that even though the house was built for the Lord, it could not contain Him, there was a physical connection that the house had between the Lord and man, the Israelites were to pray towards the house if they were in captivity and repented of their sins (Daniel gives us an example of praying towards Jerusalem, see Daniel 6:10), and Solomon’s note that there is no man who doesn’t sin (see Proverbs 20:9, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Romans 3:23 and I John 1:5-10). At the end of his prayer, there is a plea to the Lord that is not recorded in I Kings, calling on the Lord to arise and show Himself with His people, remembering the steadfast love that He had for David His servant. The Lord would certainly show Himself in the next chapter with a great display of fire from heaven and the glory of the Lord filling the temple.
1. The dedication of the house of the Lord: As soon as Solomon finishes his prayer to the Lord, we see a great display of fire and glory given from the Lord that seems to be quite the answer to his prayer. This is the second time that the glory of the Lord filled the house, as the same thing happened when the ark was brought to the house (see II Chronicles 5). This display was met with worship from the people, with their faces bowed to the ground. Then Solomon offers a great many sacrifices to the Lord, a testimony to the great wealth he had been given, and dedicated the house of God. The priests and the Levites took their post to minister before the Lord in music and praise, and the middle court was consecrated before the Lord. This dedication was carried out in a very great assembly and there was a feast held for seven days. On the with day, there was a solomon assembly. Afterwards, the people went away joyful and glad of heart. May we ever find our joy and satisfaction in the Lord as the children of Israel did here.
2. The Lord’s reply to Solomon: After the house had been finished, the Lord appeared to Solomon and confirmed that He had heard his prayer and chosen this place as a house of sacrifice. Note the forgiving characteristic of our Lord, as the Lord tells Solomon that if His people pray to Him, humble themselves and turn their face back towards the Lord, He will be attentive to their prayer, forgive their sin and heal their land from the punishment that He had brought upon them because of their iniquity. This is a constant characteristic that can be seen of the Lord throughout the scriptures. The Lord had chosen the house to be a representation of His presence on earth. Then He gives Solomon a conditional promise, or perhaps more of a warning. He says that if he walks according to His ways as David his father did and keeps His statues and rules, then his throne would be established and would not lack a man to rule Israel. However, the blessing came with a curs, for if Solomon turned aside and forsook the statutes, then he would be taken from the land he had been given and be cast out of His sight. Then the house that he had built would become desolate, to the point where people would ask why the Lord had done this to the land and to His house, so that they would know that it was because the children of Israel had abandoned the Lord. This type of blessing and curse was set up by God even from the days of old, as seen in Deuteronomy 11:26-32.
Solomon’s accomplishments: For notes on this section, see notes on I Kings 9:10-28. Note here (which is not explained in the account in I Kings) that Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter, who was his wife, up from the city of David to her own house because the places to which the ark of the Lord had come were holy. This shows that Solomon at this time separated his foreign marriages from his worship to the Lord, something later he would forgo, which would lead to his own separation from the Lord (see I Kings 11).
The queen of Sheba, Solomon’s wealth and Solomon’s death: For notes on this section, see notes on I Kings 10. Note here that the fall of Solomon, as recorded in I Kings 11, is not recorded by the chronicler (just as David’s sin with Bathsheba is not recorded by the chronicler), indicating the different purposes for writing Chronicles and Kings (see notes on I Chronicles 20 and 21). Instead, the account here goes from Solomon’s wealth straight to his death, as Rehoboam his son reigns in his place.
Rehoboam’s mistake: For notes on this section, see notes on I Kings 12:1-20.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 114-115.
The Lord be with you.