6:14 "O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. Until I began learning about the covenants (I still need to learn more), I never even noticed them in Scripture. Here Solomon and the people are marveling as they likely think about the covenant to Abraham and especially to David to establish His throne on earth for all time. And what is God seeking from His people? Wholehearted devotion.
6:18 "But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Yes! He's onto something. God really will dwell with man, but a building is not sufficient to contain Him. It will be the immortality and belief of all His people who will make up each and every building material in His future Temple. I find it so ironic that Solomon is putting this picture together right under his nose and doesn't see it. I wonder what pictures God is writing with our lives right under our noses that we don't see either?
I wrote a blog entry awhile back that all of those who believe and live a surrendered life in this world should at some point or stage in our lives be Christ-types. In other words, there should be a part of our story where one can see a picture of Jesus, just like we do with the Christ-types of the Bible. For most of us, we will never see it ourselves (likely because we are not looking for it or else we are in the middle of the story and do not see how it has come together), but someday we will be shown it in all its glory when Jesus recounts our lives with us. How do we become Christ-types? When we live in daily submission to His will for our lives, and it is a guaranteed part of our story. It is a joyous, exciting, satisfying role we can play, but it also comes at a great cost and sacrifice! Take heart, however, the more we sacrifice, the more God anoints and strengthens us for that role, so it is not as hard as it seems it would be.
6:22-23 "If someone wrongs another person...then hear from heaven and judge between your servants-the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence. This along with many other passages in the Bible should be sobering to all of us. We will be held accountable for blatant mistreatment of others—either here or there. We must work hard to "pay all our debts" and make amends with everyone whom we've mistreated intentionally. Jesus taught this as well.
6:23-31 All of these prayers will be answered once and for all when the eyes of the Jewish people are opened at the end of the age and they truly repent of their unbelief in Jesus. Their enemies will be punished (23), their land will be restored (25), there will be rain (27), all of the judgments against the earth will be ceased (28). The ultimate outcome will be verse 31: Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors (forever!). Oh yeah, there's another ultimate outcome, read on.
6:32-33 "In the future, foreigners (think Gentiles or non-Israelites ) who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple (think Jesus!), then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name. This whole prayer of Solomon in this chapter is so powerful! I believe it ALL will be granted in God's perfect plan for the ages!
6:40 "O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place." This is a beautiful verse when applied to all levels of "Temple." Jesus, me individually, future Temple in the MK, and eventually the Final Tempe of God's corporate people on the new earth.
6:41 ...let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation and let Your godly ones rejoice in what is good. If you think about God's priests in the MK (His chosen) who are also described as His body in the NT, this is a cool picture. In essence, "let your "body" be clothed with Yeshua (salvation in Hebrew)."
7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The more I understand the various facets of God's Word, the more I see that fire has a profound place in Scripture throughout. Fire is in the name of Yahweh in the Hebrew picture language as a "Strong Devourer," it is also in the picture language for "man," and fire is used throughout as a purifying AND empowering process. I can't wait to fully understand fire!
7:8 For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters. For those of you who have followed our Jewish teachings since January, I find it simply FASCINATING that they celebrated the FEAST OF TABERNACLES just after Solomon's incredible prophetic Millennial Kingdom (MK) prayer and offering. Why? Because when Jesus returns to earth at His second coming, He will be inaugurated as King over the earth for the MK during the FEAST OF TABERNACLES in mid-autumn. At that time, He will build His Temple in Jerusalem and fulfill the Solomon picture of Christ.
7:24-25 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! I think this passage sums up Paul's struggle against sin quite well. Who hasn't felt the incredible bondage and cycle of sin and shame of which he speaks? But as Paul marvels at throughout Romans, the grace is greater than the sin!
8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Halleluia! This verse saved my life once. After a period of terrible rebellion and sin (as in my affair), and certain people trying to rub my nose in it for days...months...years even, God used this verse to set me free after my heartfelt repentance! I almost gave up in discouragement and shame, but God pulled me out of the pit of shame. God is so good, forgiving, and gentle with us when we repent of our sin, no matter how terrible! Who is like Him? (Answer: no one).
8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace... So true! What do you think this means in your daily life?
Phew, another big day! Great job!