Blessing or Curse?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 (day four)

God’s promises and warnings throughout history have always been predicated on man’s response to Him.  Blessing would follow obedience, curse would follow disobedience.  In the Garden of Eden, on Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal, now with Solomon…blessing will follow relationship, judgment will follow sin.

What story will history tell of America?  One nation under God…a nation founded upon a relationship with the Creator God…they were blessed for many generations.  Not only was America blessed, but other nations were blessed by them.  But the nation turned away from God!  Judgment and discipline were pronounced upon the nation.  Prayer was removed from the schools and public forums, obedience to the Word of God was shunned and ridiculed, worship was discouraged and honor was refused God.

Do we really believe that we can ignore Almighty God and not pay the consequences?  …and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Fire

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:1-10 (day four)

Fire is often used in Scripture to represent the presence of God.  Moses saw God in the burning bush and received instructions from Him.  During the exodus, the children of Israel followed the pillar of fire by night.  Elijah called down fire from heaven when he dealt with the prophets of Baal.  David experienced the presence of God on the altar when He responded with fire.  Now, we see the presence of God manifested to Solomon through fire.

In New Testament times, the Holy Spirit was depicted as tongues of fire.  And, in Revelation, we see God’s ultimate judgment coming as fire.  The dramatic display of power under control through fire has signaled the presence of God from the beginning.  What is it in your life that signals the presence of God to the world?  Is the awesome display of God’s power visible in you?  Do others see the Holy Spirit working in your life?  Let your light so shine before men…

Prayer

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (day four)

Solomon left no stone unturned…what a prayer of dedication and commitment!  Solomon acknowledged God’s covenant keeping relationship with His people.  He prayed for His lovingkindness…His favor…His justice…His forgiveness.  He asked for restoration…for provision and relief when needed.  Solomon sought proclamation…salvation…the presence of God.  The king seemed to foresee every situation that might come up in the life of Israel.

Israel did not know what their needs would be in the future, but they had a king who interceded for them with the Father.  Often, we do not know how to pray.  We are overwhelmed with life and can only groan before the Father.  Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”  The Spirit prays for us according to the will of God.

Intercession on our behalf is a blessed gift.  What a privilege we have to do the same for others. Who do you know that you can pray for right now?

The Temple

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (day four)

It was always about God!  The Temple would be a place for God to dwell.  It was a place for His covenant with man to reside.  It was holy because of the presence of God.  The elaborate décor was to honor the God of all the universe.

It was never about man!  As extravagant as it was, the Temple was never to bring honor to Israel.  Even though David had dreamed of its glory, he was not allowed to build it.  Solomon could not claim glory for it…it was planned and provided for before he was even born.  As treasured and valuable as it was, men could not have conceived the holiness that inhabited the Temple.

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.”  1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Our bodies are intricate and amazing…prepared for before we were born…designed to bring glory to God…and filled with the Spirit of God.  We are His temple!

Inspired Praise

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 5:1-14 (day four)


When the Hebrews praised the Lord in the Temple (verse 13), they used a familiar phrase.  David had used it often in the psalms…”the Lord is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  (Chapters 106, 107, 118, 136)  The prophet Jeremiah used it later when he foretold the restoration of Israel from the Babylonian exile (Jeremiah 33:11).  Since Scripture is inspired by God, this phrase must be pleasing to God.  In our Re:Verse this week, God’s response to this corporate praise from the Hebrews was to fill the Temple with His presence.  He literally inhabited their praise.

Sounds like a good idea to use God’s own words to praise Him!  Using the words of Scripture to pray back to God is pleasing to Him.  In prayer, in songs and hymns, or in worship…God responds to His praise.  Do you want to acknowledge God’s love…God’s goodness…God’s character?  “The Lord is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting!”

Healthy Fear

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 3:1-17 (day four)

God had given David the plans for the temple and also supplied all of the needed gold and silver, brass, iron, precious stones, and fine woven material.  Solomon set out to build a temple worthy of the one true God.  In chapter 3, we see that God was very specific with where, how, and with what, every aspect of the temple was to be built.

In God’s sovereignty, He was very involved in the details of constructing the temple.  Throughout history, many have believed and taught that God created the world and then stepped back and allowed man to manage it on his own…that is not the case!  God is intimately involved in the affairs of man.  God promised Israel blessing and curse…depending on their obedience to Him.  Discipline and curse is prepared for those who do not obey God.  That truth should instill a healthy fear of God in our hearts.  How have you seen God’s hand at work in your daily life?

Hard to Trust?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 2:1-12 (day four)

David had put aside vast amounts of supplies to build the Temple with…gold, silver, bronze, precious stone, iron, fabrics…but Solomon needed more.  Evidently, Solomon had enlarged the plans for the Temple and required more supplies.  As grand as the plans were for the Temple, Solomon recognized that God could not be contained within this house.  Even the heavens and the highest heavens were not large enough to hold God.  God was greater than time or space.

When we stop and contemplate on the greatness of God, it is truly beyond our comprehension.  God reminded Job of His greatness in Job 38-41.  God has performed tasks and created perfection in ways we don’t even know to ask about.  In our finite thinking, we cannot fathom the majesty and glory of God.

So can a God this big manage the petty needs in our lives?  They don’t seem petty to us maybe, but in the grand scheme of things they hardly register on the scale of importance and complexity.  Why does it seem to be so hard to trust God?  He has promised to guide us…to provide for us…to meet our every need, yet we struggle to trust Him.  Ask God for the faith to trust Him!

Here’s the Question

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 1:1-13 (day four)

Solomon recognized who had made him king…it wasn’t his father David, it wasn’t the Israelites, it was God.  He also recognized the huge task before him of ruling this mass of people.  Solomon had no doubt been raised in the lap of luxury…wanting for nothing.  Now though, faced with the responsibility of making the decisions that would affect all of the Israelites, Solomon turned to his God.  When God offered him whatever he desired, Solomon requested wisdom to rule.  To Solomon’s credit, this was a very wise answer…reflecting his training and heritage.

How would we respond to such an offer?  Winning the Publisher’s Clearing House drawing would be nice…houses and lands…longevity and good health…certainly our culture pushes us to such self-gratifying rewards.  Wisdom and knowledge, obedience and discernment, kindness and love…how could we best serve our God?  The answers to a question like God asked are answers of the heart.  Solomon had prepared his heart prior to God’s question by worshiping his God.  How are you preparing your heart…should you be asked a question?

Worship is the Goal

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 29:1-11 (day four)

So that we can put the value of the offering given for the Temple in perspective…the gold given by King David and the Jewish leaders, in today’s economy, would be $207,000,000.  The silver would be valued at $1,989,000.  This is a total of nearly 209 million dollars…just the gold and the silver!  Quite an offering!

David recognized though that all of the resource came from God to begin with.  He had provided the offering.  Verse 16 says, “O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours.”  Verse 18 follows with the purpose of the offering…it was to direct their heart to God.  (verse 18)

Good times and prosperity, hard times and need, joy, sadness, comfort or discouragement…all of our experiences are designed to lead us to God.  The privilege of giving was to direct the worship of the people towards God.  Is giving to God’s work a joy or a burden to you?  Do the difficult things in life turn you to God?  Giving is an act of the heart, not the wallet!

Details

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 28:11-21 (day four)

One of the first things you recognize in our passage is the detail of the plans that David provides to his son, Solomon.  He has a plan for everything…buildings, porches, inner rooms, upper rooms, utensils, dishes, storehouses, etc.  David had put a lot of thought into the temple.  These were not his plans though…verse 19 gives us the key.  “All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.”  It was God who paid attention to all the detail.  Details are not surprising when God created the heavens and the earth.  Exquisite and intricate detail characterizes every creation of God.

Is it important to God that things are done correctly?  Does He give a general idea as to how something should be and leave the details up to man to figure out?  Does God, for instance, have a detailed ‘master plan’ developed for our church or does He allow us to come up with our best plans and ideas?  Sounds like we have some praying to do!