In Today's Scripture Reading:
Temple's furnishings; the 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 brasen scaffold . . . and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven (II Chronicles 6:12-13). It was not uncommon for the people of God to lift their hands in prayer and praise (Psalm 63:3-4). Hands lifted toward heaven are a sign of wholehearted submission and worship. Surely it should be natural to lift up our hands or to kneel in humility before the living God.
Solomon began his prayer, saying: O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant (agreement), and shewest mercy unto Thy servants, that walk before Thee with all their hearts. . . . Then hear Thou from the heavens . . . and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for; that all people of the earth may know Thy Name, and fear Thee, as doth Thy people Israel, and may know that this House (Temple) which I have built is called by Thy Name (II Chronicles 6:14,33). Sadly, Solomon's talk didn't match his conduct. Solomon also had prayed: If Thy people . . . have sinned . . . and confess Thy Name, and pray and make supplication (appeal) before Thee. . . . Then . . . forgive the sin of Thy people Israel. . . . that all the people of the earth may know Thy Name, and fear Thee (6:24-25,33). It is pathetic to realize there is no record that Solomon ever repented of any of his sins.
Somewhere, at this moment, on a hospital bed or in a prison cell, facing unemployment or the cruel experiences of family problems, there are people repenting of their sins, reading God's Word for direction, being restored to Him, and coming forth stronger in their faith. It is wonderful to know how much the Lord loves us. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (I Corinthians 11:32). The best years of our lives can be the outcome of failure, heartbreak, or loneliness that lead to a true commitment to Christ as Lord of our lives. We can become the people God meant us to be. Suffering could be caused by God, Satan, or our own foolish decisions; but it can, and will, be used of God, if we have faith to turn to Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
Through Solomon's prayer (II Chronicles 6:14). Jesus is that God: For there is One God, and One Mediator (Arbitrator, Negotiator) between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5).
4:2: sea =b> large basin; 4:22 censers =b> incense burners; 6:10 room =b> position; 6:24 be put to the worse =b> are defeated; 6:28 dearth =b> famine; blasting =b> blight; sore =b> plague; 6:40 attent =b> attentive.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Bruce Rutherford's birthday Staff: Bernice Rathbone Government Officials: Rep. Richard Baker (LA), Rep. Kenny Hulshof (MO), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (WA), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK) Country: South Africa (42.6 million) on the southern tip of the African continent Major languages: Afrikaans and English Religious freedom 76% Christian; 1% Muslim; 1% Hindu; 15% Traditional; .5% Jewish; 6.5% None/Other (Baha'i, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Confucian) Prayer Suggestion: Pray and lift up your prayers to God with the spirit of understanding (I Corinthians 14:15).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 18:3