2 Chronicles 6-8
What does it say?
Solomon spoke to assembly of Israel regarding the temple. He told them that it was in David’s heart to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, but it was David’s son who would build the Lord a house. Solomon then prays to the Lord in the presence of the assembly. Solomon ask’s that whenever the people turn and pray towards this house that he (Solomon) built, that the Lord would hear from heaven and act. When the people sin and fall into pestilence, war, or famine because of their sin; if they repent and pray toward the house that he (Solomon) built, he ask’s that the Lord hear from heaven and acts. The Shekinah glory filled the house and sacrifices were offered: 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. This is how the the temple was dedicated. The priest stood on their posts and the Levites played instruments of Music. The assembly then enjoyed a feast together after which Solomon sent them away to their own tents. The Lord answers Solomon’s prayer and promised to act as Solomon requested but warns him that forsaking his statutes and commandments and serving other gods will result in being uprooted from the land and the house will be cast out of his sight. Then a list of Solomon’s activities and accomplishments as king are given.
What does it mean?
Solomon, like his father David, assumed that one of his descendants meant Solomon. Therefore, Solomon claims authoritative rights for building a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. Solomon believed that the covenant that God made to David was fulfilled in Solomon building the temple; yet, that house is no longer there, so how can the house that Solomon built be an eternal house? Solomon’s pray of dedication is good, but I think that it might have been incorrectly focused. The focus should be on the the Lord and his covenant rather than on a man made building. The Lord had already sanctioned a vessel to carry his covenant, it was the ark of the covenant, but now the ark rests in this house built by Solomon. The Chronicler writing at the time of returning from captivity in Babylon is bringing the readers attention to Jerusalem and the temple. God demonstrated his promise to dwell in Israel as long as they kept the covenant when the Shekinah glory entered the temple. The dedication and the feast occurs with an assembly. God’s people are meant to be together. Solomon accomplished much as far as man but all that Solomon did is nothing compared to the Lord, the God who created heaven and earth.
What shall I do?
I shall be careful when interpreting God’s word for myself. I shall understand that Jesus Christ is the house of God. If we repent and turn to Jesus, God has promised to forgive us of all our sins and he is righteous to do so (1 Jn 1:9) because Jesus Christ is the descendant of David who has built the house of God. I shall remember that the people of God assemble together and encourage one another. (Heb 10:25) I shall realize that whatever I accomplish in this life is temporal and God is eternal; therefore, if I am not testifying repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21) then I am to be pitied, for I shall fix my hope on God and not the riches of this world. ( 1 Tim 6:17)