May 22

 

Read II Chronicles 4 -- 6

 

In Today's Reading:

 

Temple furnishings; Ark brought into the Temple; cloud of the Lord's presence fills the Temple; Solomon's prayer of dedication

 

The Israelites gathered around Solomon as he stood before the altar of the LORD . . . and spread forth his hands: For Solomon had made a brazen scaffold . . . and kneeled down on his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, And prayed: O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like You in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keeps covenant, and shows mercy to Your servants, that walk before You with all their hearts. . . . that all people of the earth may know Your Name, and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by Your Name (II Chronicles 6:12-14,33).

 

Solomon also prayed: When the heaven is shut up . . . because they have sinned against You. . . . when You have taught them the good way, wherein they should walk. . . . Render to every man according to all his ways . . . That they may fear You, to walk in Your ways, so long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers (6:26-31).

 

Solomon's thoughts also turned far into the future. It seems that Solomon recognized his own sinful desires as well as those of the people who might turn from the Word of God and forfeit their inheritance. Therefore, Solomon continued to pray on their behalf: If . . . You be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives . . . if they . . . turn and pray to You . . . saying, We have sinned . . . If they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity . . . Then . . . forgive Your people which have sinned against You (6:36-39).

 

Solomon recognized that, without the Lord's presence, his magnificent Temple called by Your Name would be a worthless and empty structure. And how true this is today. The Lord's presence no longer dwells in a magnificent manmade Temple but in the hearts of those who are obedient to Him, for we are the Temple of God. . . . If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the Temple of God is holy, which Temple you are (I Corinthians 3:16-17; see also 6:19; II Corinthians 6:16).

 

Christ Revealed:

 

Through Solomon's prayer when he said: There is no God like You . . . which . . . shows mercy to Your servants, that walk before You with all their hearts (II Chronicles 6:14). Jesus is that God: There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5). I and My Father are One (John 10:30).

 

Word Studies:

 

4:2: sea = large basin; 4:22 censers = incense burners; 6:10 room = position; 6:24 be put to the worse = are defeated; 6:28 dearth = famine; blasting = blight; sore = plague; 6:40 attent = attentive.

 

Prayer Needs:

 

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Richard Baker (LA), Rep. Kenny Hulshof (MO), Rep. Cathy McMorris (WA), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) · Country: Antigua and Barbuda (64,000) in the Leeward Islands of the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and local dialects · Religious freedom · 83% Protestant; 11% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Be specific in your prayers (Luke 18:41-43).

 

Optional Reading: I Corinthians 9

 

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 4:3