· In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon has finished his 21-year church building campaign for the very first temple of the Lord. It wasn’t something his father, King David, was allowed to do, though he wanted to.
· Solomon completed this architectural masterpiece and it was a thing of beauty that lasted for centuries.
· It was a place that God could dwell among the people.
· It was supposed to be a place they could always come to and find the presence of God for what they needed from him.
· It was designed to be a foreshadowing of what you and I can expect today in our lives; that we are perfectly designed to house the presence of God inside of us.
· And like we’re going to see in this passage, Solomon praises the Lord, connects it together in prayer and then enjoys worship.
· It’s a pattern we can all follow.
1. Praise Paves The Way
· In 2 Chronicles 6:3 Solomon tells the whole company to praise the Lord who has kept His promise.
· God is a God who keeps his promises. He’s not a man that He can lie.
· Even when I don’t want to or I don’t feel like it or my situation says He’s not done it yet; I WILL praise the Lord because He will keep His promises.
o It may take 21 years to realize it…but He will keep His promises.
o It may take a monumental experience for me to be able to see it, but He will keep His promises.
o 2 Peter 3:9 God is not slow in keeping his promises as some understand slowness to be.
· Praise is the set up.
o It paves the way for us to see things from his perspective.
o It sets us up to see it from his vantage point.
o It changes our attention from us to him, his ability, his promise, his presence, his treasure, his face and not his hand; because it reminds us of all He has done.
2. Prayer Makes The Connection
· As Solomon goes on through this passage, he praises the Lord, prays for the people and asks God to do certain things.
o It’s really a brilliant dedication prayer.
o It has lots of “if, then” requests of the Lord in it. 10 different ones to be exact.
o He’s praying a prayer, for the prayers of the pray-ers who will be offering up prayers in that place.
o Remember, praise paves the way…it turns our attention to God. It sets us up to connect to God and prayer is that conversation that we enter in to.
· Prayer Connects us to
2 Chronicles 6:19–21 (NLT)
19 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you.
20 May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place.
21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.
o Yes, Let this be a place of forgiveness.
o When we have entered into your temple, and prayed, let us find forgiveness.
o When we have been soiled and stained and washed over on the roadway of life; when we pray – forgive.
o That’s the prayer I pray over us and this church – that when anyone comes in to this house and life has taken its best shot at them and sin has found its way into any and every area of their life that when they pray they would find forgiveness.
o That this would be a church that’s not filled with judgmental looks, attitude or people but with those who celebrate and fill the atmosphere with the sound of heaven, a joyous and raucus celebration when one lost person finds the scandal of grace more than enough to cover their sins because we’ve not lost sight of what it was like to be once be lost but now be found!
2 Chronicles 6:22–23 (NLT)
22 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar at this Temple,
23 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.
o A place where those who have been taken advantage of or had their innocence stolen can find restoration.
o He wasn’t asking God to let the sinner go, but for God to get even with them on His terms.
o And for the one who has been damaged to find that there is hope and healing in the hosue for all that they have lost.
2 Chronicles 6:26–27 (NLT)
26 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them,
27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.
o Prayer connects us to the life-giving power of God. His divine ability to revive back to life, what was once dead.
o Not just awake, but ALIVE, abounding, overflowing with life.
o He can take what once was a desert place, empty and devoid of life and make it thrive.
o He can make it rain where he wants it to rain.
o RAIN…IT’S A FUNNY THING. IT CAN RAIN ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AND NOT THE OTHER.
o You can be playing in the rain and the person sitting right next to you is playing in the dust!
o He can make you thrive, while they’re desolate.
3. Worship Is Enjoyed
· After Solomon prayed all 10 “if, then” prayers God embraces that moment and their worship experience is moved into an overwhelming moment with God’s glory.
2 Chronicles 7:1–3 (NLT)
1 When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple.
2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it.
3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!”
· This is the fulfillment of all that we hope for. God’s glory filling the temple.
o Guess what…it still happens today! Why? How? Because we are the temple and his glory can fill us to overflowing!
o It was played out again in Acts 2 – they were filled with His spirit.
o Paul says in Ephesians 3:18 to be filled with the spirit and not be drunk with wine.
§ Don’t be full of things the world has to offer, instead be filled with God’s spirit to full!
o Acts 3:19: Now repent of your sins and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, that he may again send you Jesus, your appointed messiah.
§ Sounds like the same thing…repent, receive forgiveness, experience refreshing.