Solomon’s prayer dedicating the Temple is revealing and prophetic. It is found in 2 Chronicles 6. Chapter 7 records God’s response.
And said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:15 Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.
Now therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.17 Now then, O Lord God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!19 Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee:20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.
ACKOWLEDGMENT OF FUTURE SIN (6:22-29)
Military conflicts (24-25)
Famine and pestilence (28-29)
FEAR THE LORD AND WALK IN HIS WAYS (30-31)
Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men🙂31 That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.
GOD’S RESPONSE TO SOLOMON’S PRAYER (7:12-22)
And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.13 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;14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.17 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;18 Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.21 And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house?22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
How did Solomon know that Israel would sin? History. If all he had was his father, he would be able to see the sin of Israel. However, he knew much more. He was aware of Abraham, Moses, and the Judges of Israel. He knew the history of the wicked priests and how they disregarded the Mosaic law. Solomon asked God’s forgiveness in advance.
You and I are much like the nation of Israel. We sin too. God wants us to come to Him, repent, confess of our sin, and ask God for His forgiveness. The Bible tells us He will. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Sin has consequences. God has forgiveness.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001