Posture of Worship - 2 Chronicles 7:3
"When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, 'For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.'
Today's scripture reflection speaks about how the people responded to God's physical presence in the temple. Solomon had offered sacrifices to the Lord and made a prayer of dedication of the temple.
We often go to church services and worship the Lord. We also pray at home and worship there. Do we have the attitude of honouring God in our midst?
The Israelites of the old Testament saw many manifestations of the Lord and so they responded correctly whenever God showed himself. This includes:
- Righteous fear of the Lord.
- Accepted what God told them to do.
- Bowed down in reverence and out of holy fear
We, as people of the new covenant, are temples of God's Holy Spirit and He dwells in us. We meet God in prayer, viz. in personal prayer or community prayer. We know what the Word of God tells us that when 2 or 3 people meet in prayer God is in our midst. We also know that when we have our own personal prayer time, we speak with God who is unseen.
So, during worship / approaching God:
- For those for whom it is possible, do we really, show God the respect He deserves by bowing down with our face to the ground or are we proud in our hearts to sit on a chair and worst with legs crossed.
- Is our posture correct during prayer?
- Do we treat God like someone who suits our needs?
If we are currently behaving like this, do we realize that either we don’t believe He is present or we don’t give Him the respect due.
Dear brethren, our God is not like the gods of the world. He is the creator of all that is alive, on earth and in heaven. If we see from the lives of kings on earth, we see how people give respect when approaching the king. So how much more when we meet God in prayer! It is a privilege, blessing, and a duty to worship God with your whole heart and with all that you have!
The Israelite people’s response to God’s presence is the best one that we can connect to when approaching God in prayer.
May we learn to come before the King of Kings and offer him due respect in our prayer time and community meetings.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. (Psalm 95:6-7)
- Kevin D'Souza, Mumbai
Pray until you finish Praying... 2 Chronicles 7:1
At the dedication of the Solomon prayed. The prayer Solomon prayed was neither too short or too long, he prayed until he finished! Can we really finish praying?
When do we finish praying?
We pray through until we lay hold of God and have touched heaven. It is only through sensing by the Holy Spirit that we know we have touched heaven. It doesn't happen overnight. We need to build our prayer life through discipline. We will know in our knower when we have taken hold of what God has for us. We can't limit God to a specific time. We just got to pray through. We can't all become prayer warriors instantly. We need to develop an attitude of prayer.
Let us look closely at 2 Chronicles 7:1
“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.
It was when Solomon had finished praying that fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering.The glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord and the people bowed down with their faces to the ground and worshiped the Lord. If we desire to see the manifestation of our prayers, let us not put a time limit. It’s not the amount of time that determines if we have prayed through, but the Spirit of God. Solomon prayed until the Spirit of God had released him, he knew he was finished. What happened after Solomon prayed?
Fire came down and consumed the offerings.
If we pray through until we finish, the fire of the Holy Spirit can fill our Churches. We don't need gimmicks and entertainment to fill the pews.
If we pray through until we finish the glory of the Lord will fill the church and the market place. The smoke was so thick with the glory of God after Solomon prayed, that the priests could not minister.
If we pray through until we finish we will worship in truth and spirit, bowing down to the ground like never before, without working into an emotional frenzy.
Dear Child of God, let us pray until we finish and touch heaven so that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God, Habbakuk 2:14.
2 Chronicles 7:14 “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."
After Solomon dedicated the temple,the Lord appeared to him and gave him some warnings and reassurances.
“If my people, which are called by my name...” God is speaking, He is addressing His people.
God directs the people to do certain things. “If” you will do your part, “then” He will do His part.
Look at the problems in our country, around where we stay; we always want to blame at someone else.
But God says the source of all problems is His house, the church.
Our God is expecting us to listen to Him, to look into His Word for direction, and to live in according to His perception. .
So many are running around, thinking that they are real Christians, but they really are not. Bible says, "Examine yourselves
“Test yourselves”, as to whether you are in the faith.
Do we really have Jesus Christ in us❓
Many of us put a good performance at church. we say all the right things. But, are we living a life that is how a Christian ought to live❓ We need a spiritual awakening; It must starts with you and me. The Lord asks four things of His people to find renewal.
SEEK MY FACE
TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS
When we humble ourselves, we are literally saying to God, you are in control of my life. When we humble ourselves before God we are allowing Him to mold us to His will and allowing Him to control our life.
Prayer is the foundation to have a deeper connection to God. Our God desires that we should spend time with him. Prayer brings amazing changes that happen in us.
To seek something from God means to first have the deep desire to see Him and then actively try to pursue it. But once we see His face, we can His holiness and love.
Come closer to God, then we can see His love and mercy that pardon of all of our sins. This is where God wants to bring us.
“And turn from their wicked ways” means “Repent”.
Revival will never happen until we recognize our wrong doing and confess.
“Time is short”
Be on our knees;
Seek His face and repent..
2 Chronicles: 9: 8 "Blessed be the Lord thy God,which delighted in thee to set thee on this throne, to be king. ----"
The queen of Sheba came to check whether the reports that came to her about Solomon were true. What she saw and heard overwhelmed her. She realized that the extent of Solomon's wisdom and wealth were no match for the reports.
⚡ The queen of Sheba praised the God of Israel when she saw and heard Solomon. Jesus reminded the people that this queen
would judge those who did not need to Him as He was the perfect son of God, far greater than Solomon. The queen acted upon what she heard. She personally checked and found that there was still so much that was not told.
⚡ There are hearts ready to receive the gospel and someone must take it to them. What do we do with our knowledge about God and His son Jesus Christ? It is written " For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed; and how shall they believe in whom they have not heard?, and how shall they hear without a preacher ? And how shall they preach except they be sent ? (Romans: 10: 13-15)
⚡ If we have seen the greatness of Jesus who is greater than Solomon, and accepted him as our Saviour we should preach the gospel to those who have not heard it. The basic principle of evangelization is " to go" or "to send".
The message of Rev. C. V. Abraham, posted yesterday should be an eye-opener for all of us.
⚡ The queen of Sheba received much more than what she expected from Solomon.
?Remember, God is the giver of all good gifts. The greatest gift we can receive from Him is the salvation and eternal life.
The Bible says, " What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians: 2:9, 10)
Have you accepted the greatest gift He offered?
Dr. Thomas David
IF MY PEOPLE…
Even as we read these beautiful accounts of the Temple and the glory of Solomon’s kingdom, it is important to remember that they had been written (most probably by Ezra) in the midst of Jerusalem’s ruins, after he had returned from Babylon.
God had spoken through Isaiah & Jeremiah of the fall of Jerusalem & Babylon, AND the rise of Cyrus. [Rf Is 39:5-7, Is 21:9, Is 45:1-7, Jer 50-51, Jer 30:8-11]
Ezra had witnessed the fulfilment of these prophecies in his lifetime. Jerusalem & Babylon fall. A king named Cyrus DID come to power as God had spoken, and Cyrus DID help the Israelites. A remnant DID return to Israel just as God had promised through various prophets.
Faith is built up as we treasure God’s words and watch Him fulfilling His word/promises. Faith looks past the ruins to see a God whose living & active Word is birthing new things.
God had promised:
If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, pray, seek [bâqash = petition, request] me, and turn from their evil ways, then I WILL HEAR their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. [2Ch 7:14]
In Babylon they HAD repented of their sins (and the sins of their ancestors) and God HAD heard them, and had brought them back to their land. [Rf Neh 1:4-11, Dan 9:3-19]
Though Jerusalem was in ruins, the very fact that they were back in Jerusalem was proof that God never spoke an idle word. He had promised to heal their land… He would DO it. What He had begun, He would complete. [Rf Is 55:11, Ps 12:6, Phi 1:6, 2 Cr 1:20]
I had the privilege of meeting a lady whose father had been the pastor of an underground church in Leipzig, East Germany in the Communist Era. Gorbachev was president of USSR. The believers had started praying around the clock, holding candlelight vigils… the authorities ordered the soldiers to fire on them… but the soldiers laid down their arms and refused to fire… some even joined the people in praying… Not long afterwards the Berlin Wall came down.
The power was not in the words of the people. The power was in the humility & repentance with which they cried out to God. The power is in the GOD who HEARS & ANSWERS.
Last year we were reading through these very passages from Chronicles on the day when the Spire of Notre-Dame collapsed in flames. All the glorious man-made structures will one day turn to ash or rubble, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.
He has promised: Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN. [Is 40:4-5]
Solomon declared, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who with His hand has fulfilled what He promised with His mouth …” [2Ch 6:4, 10, 15]
God has promised: “Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession”. [Ps 2:8]
Jesus promised: “Ask, and it will be given to you” [Mt 7:7]
Are we asking?
Are we seeking?
Are we humbling ourselves in repentance & turning away from our wicked ways?
Holy Spirit, please ignite our hearts, burning away all apathy & pride. Help us to humble ourselves in repentance. Stir up our hearts to seek You and walk with You in paths of righteousness. Open our eyes to see as You see. Teach us Lord to pray in accordance with the Father’s will. In Jesus Name. Amen.
"And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharoah out of the city of David. ...." 2 Chronicles 8:11
Solomon's marriage to Pharoah's daughter was contrary to God's law. (Deut 17:17, Exodus 34:16). Though Solomon was dedicated to building the temple and keeping many of God's statutes, this marriage shows that he failed to submit every area of his life to God's rule.
Failure to resist his strongest temptation eventually resulted in his ruin; thus he had left a vital area of his life open to Satan. Satan needs only one uncommitted or unresolved area of the believer's life to gain a foothold and lead him or her away from God.
Points to ponder
▶Are we able to identify the unresolved area in our lives capable of giving an in road to the enemy?
▶What is our response after we have identified that?
▶Are we prepared for serious spiritual warfare against the enemy or do we procrastinate?
Loving heavenly Father, we thank you for your word. Help us to be receptive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If we are able to identify the weak zones in our lives and help us to humbly submit that to you because it is only you who can deliver us from our weaknesses.
Thank you Lord.
In Jesus name
Testimony that makes the difference