The glory of the Lord filled the house.
2 Chronicles 7 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His lovingkindness is everlasting”—whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing.
7 Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat.
8 So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. 9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel.
11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s palace, and successfully completed all that he had planned on doing in the house of the Lord and in his palace.
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and 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. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’
19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”
In today’s text it says: Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and The glory of the Lord filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. As believers; followers of Christ we should recognize and understand that it is no longer the prayer of Solomon or the multitude of sacrifices the Israelites offered which cause the manifest presence and the glory of God to come. It is no longer the temple built by Solomon to which God comes and fills with His glory. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says: Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? In John 14:23 Jesus says: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” We are the temple of God. His presence and His glory dwells in us and so should manifest to others through us. Again, it is not the prayer or the sacrifice of Solomon, but rather the prayer and sacrifice of Jesus which God responds to. On the cross Jesus said: “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Before He was crucified, in the garden Jesus prayed: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:20-24) Because of the sacrifice of Jesus and in answer to His prayer, we have the indwelling presence and the glory of God in us.
Verses 12-16 of today’s text says: Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.” 2 Chronicles 7:14, If My people who are called by My name… has been a rallying cry for revival for many years. Believers have prayed prayers centered on the promise of God to heal the land, over their communities, regions, nations and the world. Since though, it is no longer the temple in which God dwells and resides, since it is no longer the building He has chosen as a house of sacrifice, but rather it is in believers that He has chosen to dwell, it is also the prayers of those believers, in whom He dwells, that He will be attentive to. It is we, those who are followers of Christ, that He has chosen and consecrated. It is we as believers who have the eyes and the heart of God perpetually. So, we should be those who pray for our communities, our regions, our nation and the world, knowing God hears not only from heaven, but also from the dwelling place of our hearts.
Here though is what I think we sometimes or often times miss. It is why the prayers for revival seem to go unanswered from generation to generation. God says: 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. It is we, believers; God’s people; Christians called by the name of Christ, who must humble ourselves and pray. It is we, who must seek the face of God and turn from our wicked ways. We can only see God’s face if we turn from evil. We in the church, those who are God’s people, have allowed ourselves to become as much or more of a dwelling place of the things of the world as of God. We hide the glory of God that is in us so that we can mingle with the world around us. When God came into the temple it says: The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. The manifest presence and the glory of God was so great and so brilliant that even the priests could not enter. If we will truly be those who are called by the name of the Lord, if we will truly humble ourselves and pray, if we will turn from our wicked ways to seek the face of God, He will hear our prayers and He will heal our land. In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus taught us to pray saying: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” If we are to pray the prayer of revival from 2 Chronicles 7:14, we also must be the answer to the prayer of Jesus. We must be those who bring the manifest presence and the glory of God to earth. Our land will be healed as the presence of God is revealed by us His people.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; forgive me where I have allowed the things of the world to dwell in me. Forgive me where I have hidden Your glory from others, that I might blend with them. I humbly bow before You and I seek Your face, knowing that if I see the radiance of Your glory, the world will also see. May I be the revelation of Your glory and bring the realities of the kingdom of heaven, which is in me, to earth. Heal our land I pray. Amen.