Read II Chronicles 4 -- 6
In Today's Reading:
The Temple's furnishings; the Ark brought into the Temple; the cloud of the Lord fills the Temple; Solomon's prayer of dedication
The Israelites gathered around Solomon as he stood in front of the Altar of the Lord on a bronze platform that he made. He then knelt before all the people, lifted his hands in prayer to God, and began praising the Lord — proclaiming there was no other God in heaven or on earth. He praised the Lord for His mercy to all who obey Him with their whole hearts. Solomon wanted the world to know that the Temple he had built was to honor the Lord God of Israel. His hands lifted toward heaven were a sign of wholehearted submission and worship to the One True living God. Sadly, his conduct didn't match his prayer. Solomon also prayed that, when God's people have sinned and they repent and pray for mercy, He would forgive their sins. 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 is someone praying for direction, being restored to or being drawn closer to Him, and coming forth stronger in their faith. The best years of our lives can be the outcome of suffering, heartbreak, or loneliness that leads 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 pray and turn to Him.
Devotional commentary also refers to: Psalm 63:3-4; I Corinthians 11:32; Romans 8:18.
Christ revealed through Solomon's prayer when he said that there is only One God (see II Chronicles 6:14). Jesus is that God (see I Timothy 2:5).
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.
Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Wallbuilders Inc. and David Barton · Government Officials: Rep. Richard Baker (LA), Rep. Kenny Hulshof (MO), Rep. Brian Kerns (IN), and Rep. Edward Pease (IN) · Country: China, Mainland (1.2 billion) in eastern Asia · Major languages: Standard Chinese (Putonghua) or Mandarin (based on the Beijing dialect) · Renewed persecution of the church · 18% Chinese folk-religionist; 6% Buddhist; 2% Muslim; number of Christians unknown but growing · Prayer Suggestion: Glory in the Lord. He is Victor over Satan (see Zechariah 3:2).
Optional Reading: I Corinthians 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Ephesians 6:17