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Solomon's Prayer Of Dedication

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Solomon’s Prayer Of Dedication

2 Chronicles 6:12-21

We want to thank God for the opportunity to participate in the dedication of this house of God.  We thank God for the pastors of The Beth-El Association of Visionary Churches and the expansion that is taking place.

On this sacred and esteemed occasion, I want to take my dedicatory address from the prayer of Solomon and his dedication of the Temple, as it is related to us in 2 Chronicles 6:12-21.

“The dedication of the Temple was a day to be remembered in Israel’s national history.  Significant things took place on this great day and such became the seal of God’s favor on the house built for His name.  The house was crowned with His glory and presence.  Everything that took place on that day points to and becomes prophetic of something that finds its fulfillment in Christ and His Church.”[1]  “The dedicatory service is replete with lessons for the Church.  God’s people are now God’s Temple.  The Holy Spirit is the Shekinah glory in the midst of His people.  In His Church, the name, the law, the presence and glory of the Lord abide.  There believers make spiritual sacrifices to the Lord in new covenant priesthood, a royal priesthood.  The Lord desires to have us maintain a pure and holy Temple for His dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5-9).”[2]

       To set the context, let me suggest and outline of 2 Chronicles 6.  The whole chapter deals with God’s dedicatory addresses, and we see

I.     Solomon’s address to God (vv. 1-2).

II.    Solomon’s address to the gathered people (vv. 3-42).

1.     Solomon’s blessing of God before the people (vv. 3-11).

2.     Solomon’s benediction of God over the people (vv. 12-42).

1)    The preamble (vv. 12-15).

2)    The promises to David (vv. 16-17).

3)    The petitions (vv. 18-42).


(Needless to say, we cannot adequately cover the whole chapter, but let us briefly consider 2 Chronicles 6:12-21?  I will read this aloud for us.  Would you follow along in your Bibles or on the screens?)

       As we have already pointed out, verses twelve through fifteen deal with the preamble to Solomon’s benediction of God over the people.   The word “benediction” means

“2. prayer asking for God’s blessing,”[3]

and that is what Solomon is about to pray.

(But before we get to the blessings or petitions that Solomon asks of God, he begins with:)

I.     The Preamble (vv. 12-15).

The “preamble” is something that precedes or leads up to something else.  This preamble was accompanied by some actions.  So, let’s touch on Solomon’s actions and his introductory words.

(First, let’s explore his actions.  The writer gives us two actions of Solomon in verse twelve, but then he adds additional information in verse thirteen.  The truth symbolized in Solomon’s actions is the importance of personal dedication.[4]  Let’s put the information in the two verses together.)

1.     He made a bronze platform and set it in the midst of the upper or inner court, in front of the brazen altar.

The platform was made of bronze and bronze is always symbolic of judgment against sin and self.  If only Solomon had maintained this throughout his reign, it would not have ended in tragedy.[5]

       The measurements of the platform are instructive.  The platform was exactly the same measurement as the brazen altar in the Tabernacle of Moses.  The brazen altar was an altar of sacrifice and cleansing from sin.  So, this platform was a picture of the cleansing of sin, which comes from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

       The platform was in the inner court, between the Holy place and the brazen altar.  After you enter the gate, Jesus, the Christ, and pass by the brazen altar of the cross and the molten sea for the washing of water by the Word, you would have to pass by this platform for personal sacrifice and cleansing of sin.

       If we want the Shekinah-glory-fire-cloud of the Holy Spirit to come into our corporate temple, i.e. the local church, then we must deal with sin and self by personally judging it through repentance and confession.

(Next:)

2.     He stood on the platform before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all of the assembly.

Standing can signify surrender.  Solomon presented Himself to God as a living sacrifice, in the presence of all of the assembly.  He surrendered himself, in the presence of all of the assembly.

       This is certainly a picture of Jesus Christ, but the message is also for us.  Just as Jesus presented Himself a living sacrifice and received the Spirit of God without measure, so Paul exhorts us in

Romans 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

If we want the Shekinah glory of God to come to this church, we must corporately present our bodies, i.e. all that we are, spirit, soul, and body, as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God.  The word “acceptable” means “well-pleasing.”  The wording is borrowed from the ritual of offering up sacrifices to God, the fragrance that He smelled in heaven and was satisfied.  When God was satisfied, in the Tabernacle and in the Temple, fire proceeded from the Shekinah-glory-fire-cloud and consumed the sacrifice.

       This is our rational or spiritual service of worship to God, as opposed to the Old Covenant physical service of worship.

       And sometimes God wants us, particularly leaders, to totally surrender ourselves, in front of the assembly, as an example.

When God really begins to preach through me, some people stand up.  They don’t know why they do, but it has to do with being moved by the Holy Spirit and surrendering to the power of the Word.

(Next:)

3.     He knelt on his knees in the presence of all of the assembly of Israel.

Kneeling is a sign of humility and brokenness.  Kneeling is also a sign of total surrender in prayer.  Solomon willingly knelt in humility and brokenness, before God, in front of the whole assembly of Israel.  Did not his father, David, write in

Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”

When Solomon’s spirit and heart were right, the Shekinah glory came.

       God desires from us willingness, humility, and brokenness of heart in worshipping Him.  The true sacrifices of the Lord are a broken spirit and a contrite heart, i.e. a heart that is godly sorrowful for sin, which works genuine repentance.  When our hearts are right, we will not care about kneeling in front of people.  “The external must symbolize the internal or else all is but formal ceremonialism.”[6]  When our hearts are humble and broken before God and in front of the congregation, the Shekinah will come!!!

(Next:)

4.     He spread his hands towards heaven.

The spreading of the hands speaks of absolute and total surrender in prayer.  Prayer had a great deal to do with the coming of the Shekinah.  Isn’t this also typical of Jesus Christ?  The Bible tells us in

Hebrews 5:7, “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.”

       We need to come in this place, this place where the local assembly of the universal church gathers, and spread our hands towards God in heaven with prayers, supplications, loud crying, and tears, and piety or religious devotion.  Then God will hear us in heaven and send the Shekinah of the baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit!!!

(Now let’s touch on his words.)

5.     He prayed.

He glorified God for keeping His covenant and showing His mercy to those servants of God who walked before Him with all their heart.

       He glorified God for keeping His promise to David.

       Before we ask God for anything, we need to glorify and thank God for the promises that He has kept on our behalf.  We need to thank Him right now for being faithful to His promises to this local church.

All the promises of God are, “Amen,” or “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.  When you have Jesus, you have more promises that you can ever imagine and we must learn to thank God for them.  We must learn to thank Him for:

·        The promise of salvation is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of the Holy Spirit is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of His presence is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of rest is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of divine protection is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of divine destiny is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        The promise of His everlasting love is “Yes,” in Jesus, the Christ.

·        Etc.

(Now Solomon moves from the preamble to listing promises that God made to David in verses 16-17.)

II.    The Promises to David (vv. 16-17).

Even though some of God’s promises to David had been fulfilled, there were others that had not been fulfilled.  Solomon asks God to continue to remember the promises that He had made.  He specifically asked God:

1.                To keep the promise concerning establishing David’s throne forever.

Solomon is invoking the Davidic Covenant.


(He then moves from the general to the specific.  He mentions one of the conditions of the Davidic Covenant, faithfulness, and asks God.)

2.     To grant the conditions of the Davidic Covenant to him.

Who cannot see the link to the regal Messianic hopes of the people of Israel?  This Davidic promise was conditional to the walk of his sons.  If his sons walked like David walked before God, serving Him with all of their hearts, God would keep one of his descendants perpetually on the throne.  We learn from other Scriptures that if they sinned and rebelled, God would chasten them, but never take this promise from David.  This did not guarantee uninterrupted rule of the seed of David, because it was interrupted for a time.  Rather, it guaranteed that the seed and throne of David would be eternal in person of Jesus, the Christ.  Jesus is of the bloodline of David, through Mary.  Jesus received the right to rule through His stepfather, Joseph, who was in the direct ruling line of David.  Thus all of these promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the Spiritual Son of David and the Greater David.  The kingdom that David was promised was spiritual.  It was the kingdom and throne of God.  The house that David was promised was spiritual.  It was the house or temple of the Church.

       Therefore, the completion of the Temple does not exhaust the promises of God, but represents a beginning age—the beginning of a whole new epoch in time.[7]  And that is how Solomon prayed.

       Likewise, the procuring of this space does not exhaust the promises of God.  God’s promises are not ultimately about buildings.  The promises of God are about a movement of the Saints, in the last days, that would facilitate the final manifestation of the Kingdom of God!!!

       The procuring of this building is not the end of God’s promises, but the beginning of a whole new paradigm and holy move of God that will end in the fulfillment of even greater promises.  This is the beginning of the “new thing” that God said He would do for us, to us, and through us!!!


(Now we are just about ready to look at:)

3.     The Petitions (vv. 18-21).

But, before Solomon begins with his first set of petitions, he seems to realize that what he is about to ask is indeed incredible.  So, he prefaces it with verse eighteen.  In this verse, he asks a rhetorical question, “Will God indeed dwell with mankind on earth?”  It is rhetorical, because we already know the answer to the question, “Yes!”  It was God who said to errect the Tabernacle and build the Temple that He might dwell among His people.  Even so, it is still incredible and hard to believe.  Why?  Because of God’s transcendence!!!  The heavens, no, not even the highest heavens can fully contain God, much less this material house that Solomon had built.  It is nothing more than the footstool of God.  Because, although God is immanent, i.e. inherent in all of His creation, He is transcendent, i.e. different from and greater than His creation!!!

       It is incredible to think that God will dwell in a group of people, but He does!  And it is the people, who are the Church, who make the building what it is:  a set apart place for God to reveal His manifest presence among His people!!!

(Based upon all that God has said and already done, Solomon moves forward and asks the incredible.  Solomon asks God:)

1.     To listen to the prayer, supplication, and crying that He was offering up before him.

And that prayer was that God’s eyes would be toward the Temple night and day, i.e. watching for and responding to Solomon’s prayers from there.  Keep in mind that the Temple is representative of God’s presence and power.

(Solomon asks God:)

2.     To hear the supplications of himself and the people, when they prayed towards the Temple; i.e. to hear from heaven and forgive.

(Solomon asked God:)

3.     To be eternally attentive with His eyes and His ears for the purpose of answering of prayers that would be prayed toward the Temple.


(Solomon asked for God:)

4.     To operate out His nature of forgiveness, when prayer was made toward the Temple.

Praying toward the Temple signified praying toward the symbol of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

What Solomon prayed for thousands of years ago, has been fulfilled spiritual in Jesus Christ.  So, now, we can pray these same words towards this local church, which is the body of Jesus Christ:  Listen to our prayers, supplication and crying; hear us and forgive us, when we pray in this place; be eternally attentive to the prayers offered in this place… grant people here the righteous desires of their hearts; and always act in accordance with your forgiving nature, when you consider these prayers!!!

       We see all of these things in the dedication of the Temple and the dedicatory prayer of Solomon.  Let us now dedicate this group of people and this gathering place that His Shechinah might come and fill both, towards the final manifestation of His Kingdom and His glory!!!


----

[1] Kevin J. Conner, The Temple Of Solomon, City Bible Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1988, p. 185.

[2] Kevin J. Conner, The Temple Of Solomon, City Bible Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1988, p. 192.

[3] Encarta® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

[4] Kevin J. Conner, The Temple Of Solomon, City Bible Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1988, p. 188.

[5] Kevin J. Conner, The Temple Of Solomon, City Bible Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1988, p. 188.

[6] Kevin J. Conner, The Temple Of Solomon, City Bible Publishing, Portland, Oregon, 1988, p. 189.

[7] Dillard, Raymond B., Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 15: 2 Chronicles, (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, Publisher) 1998.

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