Highlights In Today's Reading:
Holy fire, worship, and dedication (7:1-10)! God responds (7:12). Don't miss 7:14. The rules of God are laid out — obedience (7:13-18); disobedience (7:19-22). Twenty years later the work is done (8:1). Enter the Queen of Sheba (9:1). Solomon's wealth, splendor (9:13-28), and demise (9:29-31).
When Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the House (7:1).
After the great dedication, the Lord again appeared to Solomon by night: If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face (by reading His Word), and turn from their wicked ways (by keeping His commandments); then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (7:13-14). Consider carefully the qualifications for God to heal their land. First, He is speaking of My people, who are called by My Name. This includes Christians.
Then, to humble themselves (ourselves) means, first and foremost, a confession of our sin of neglecting His Word. To humble oneself includes an acknowledgment of sin, but also having a sorrow for that sin, a genuine repentance, and a decision to read His Guide to Life. He alone can and does offer forgiveness and cleansing from all sin to all who will humble themselves.
For our best interest, God says: Seek My Face. This means for us to hear and then do what He has to say. God desires to answer prayer, but He will not answer the prayers of those who assume they can ignore the only inspired Guide to life. We need to know our Bible in order to be the people He has planned for us to be in preparation for eternity. Without the knowledge of the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal His will for our lives (John 16:3), we are no match for the Devil, who fanatically seeks to deceive us and destroy our effectiveness to accomplish the will of God (I Pet. 5:8).
The Lord Jesus said: If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified (John 15:7-8).
Thought for Today:
In these most perilous times we need to come to God in full repentance for our sins. Only then can His blessings be restored.
Through the glory of Solomon's kingdom (II Chr. 9:1-28). Even though Solomon had a rich and glorious kingdom, it cannot begin to compare to Christ's coming Kingdom. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it (Rev. 22:1-5).
7:11 prosperously effected =successfully accomplished all that God had planned for him to do; 8:5 nether =b> lower; 8:16 perfected =b> completed; 9:1 prove =b> test; 9:14 chapmen =b> merchant traders; 9:15 targets =b> large shields; 9:18 stays =b> armrests; 9:24 harness =b> armor; 9:26 the river =b> the Euphrates River.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Dina Titus (NV) • Country: Mongolia (2.4 million) in east-central Asia • Major language: Khalkha Mongol • As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar • 95.5% Tibetan Buddhist; 4% Muslim; .3% Christian; .2% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray without ceasing (II Tim. 1:3).
Optional Reading: 1 Corinthians 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:21