Friday, April 22, 2016

Boring Bble Book Explained - 2nd Chronicles (not so boring) PART 1

2nd Chronicles continues the history from 1st Chronicles, telling about the reign of King Solomon and how he built the temple. Then it records the rule of Jeroboam and Rehoboam and the growing apostasy once again of Israel. The kingdom was split into two parts as two tribes accepted Rehoboam (Solomon’s son) as their king and they became known as Judah. The other 10 tribes refused to accept him and were known as the kingdom of Israel. The information in 1st and 2nd Chronicles covers the same history as 1st and 2nd Kings, but focuses more on Solomon and the kings of Judah. The kings of Israel are only talked about when they have some impact on Judah. There are periods of revival, but every time there was a king who was righteous he was succeeded by a son who became an idolater. It is also interesting to note that in parallel verses from Kings and Chronicles, Chronicles adds many references to the priests and Levites. 
In 2nd Chronicles we have again the building of the temple by King Solomon. Since we previously examined the building of the temple in 1st Kings, we’ll look now at the dedication of the Temple. First, in chapter 6, Solomon gives a lengthy prayer of dedication.

14 He said:
       "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.

 16 "Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as you have done.' 17 And now, O LORD, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David come true.
 18 "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.

The prayer goes on to give 7 problems that may happen with a request for God to solve the situation: (22-23) that God judge legal problems, (24-25) that God forgive the sin of Israel, (26-27) that God send rain, (28-31) that God hear and forgive His people through disasters and diseases, (32-33) that God hear foreigners’ prayers, (34-35) that God uphold His people in war, and (36-39) that God forgive His people if they are exiled because of sin, but have a change of heart and repent.
Read the end of the prayer in verses 41 – 42 and then chapter 7:1-3:

41 "Now arise, O LORD God, and come to your resting place,
       you and the ark of your might.
       May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation,
       may your saints rejoice in your goodness.
       Remember the great love promised to David your servant."

 42 O LORD God, do not reject your anointed one.
 1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, "He is good. His love endures forever."

Wow! Imagine that. Solomon finished praying and FIRE came down from heaven and the glory of the LORD filled the temple! Wow, wow, wow! Then the Lord appeared to Solomon that night. Find out what happened in next week's post.

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