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Bible Pathways - May 22, 2009


May 22

2 Chronicles 4

Highlights In Today's Reading:

How could Solomon possibly do justice to the Most High God in furnishing His Temple? Read and see. We are His Temple. Do the "furnishings" surrounding our lives reflect purity or dross? Picture the worship as the Ark arrives with thousands in attendance! Surely a glimpse of heavenly worship!

The longest prayer recorded in the Scripture is Solomon's Prayer of Dedication of the Temple (6:14-42). All the people were gathered around Solomon as he stood on a platform near the Brazen Altar. Before he opened his mouth to pray, he kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven (6:13).

It was not uncommon for the people of God to lift their hands in prayer and praise, as David, Solomon's father, had taught them: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord (Ps. 134:2-3). Christians today are also taught that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting (I Tim. 2:8). As Solomon confessed in his opening words of prayer, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth (II Chr. 6:14), David taught us: O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Ps. 95:6). And our Lord Jesus, in His High Priestly prayer in the garden, kneeled down, and prayed (Luke 22:41).

Solomon prayed for continued covenant blessings upon David's throne which God had promised if his children would take heed to their ways and walk in the Law of God, as David had done before them (II Chr. 6:16). He then turned his thoughts toward the Temple (6:18) that it might continue to be a dwelling place for God on earth. Solomon recognized that, without the presence of God, this magnificent Temple would be a worthless structure. And how true this is today. The presence of God now dwells in those who truly worship Him — for we are the Temple of God (I Cor. 6:19; II Cor. 6:16; Rom. 8:9-11; I John 4:13). If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy (I Cor. 3:17). And then, Solomon's prayer turned to a plan for himself and others who would repent of their sins: When Thou hearest, forgive (II Chr. 6:21-22). But this is possible only if we truly repent and forsake our sins and become obedient followers of the Word of God. He assures us: Lo, I am with you alway (Matt. 28:19-20).

Christ dwells in the hearts of His people in the Person of His Holy Spirit (John 14:16). We look forward to that soon-coming glorious and great day when God will dwell on earth among all believers, and we have that assurance: I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them (Rev. 21:3).

Thought for Today:

When a covenant is made with God, both parties agree to keep the terms. But God alone makes the terms. Some people want God to keep His promises but don't want to keep their promises to Him.

Christ Revealed:

Through Solomon's prayer to God (II Chr. 6:14). Jesus is God: I and My Father are One (John 10:30; 17:22; 1:1; I John 5:7-8).

Word Studies:

4:2: molten sea =b> large metal, round basin; 4:22 censers =b> incense burners; 6:10 room =b> throne of Israel; 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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bruce Rutherford • Staff: Pam Pendergrast • Government Officials: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD) • Country: Monaco (32,000) in southeastern France • Major languages: French and English • No open evangelism permitted • 90% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in God and offer up your prayers night and day (I Tim. 5:5).

Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 9

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:21

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