2 Chronicles 7:12-22
The Lord made His presence known in the temple Solomon built, and then the Lord spoke to Solomon, saying He heard his prayer during the temple’s dedication.
The Lord said He would answer Solomon’s prayer, and He told Solomon that He had chosen the temple as a place that would bear His name. The Lord said it was a place set apart for Himself as a “house of sacrifice.”
The sacrifice and shedding of blood have always been necessary for our forgiveness, and in the Lord’s covenant with mankind. In the Old Testament, the shedding of blood is explained in this way: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11).
A covenant comes with a penalty if one of the parties involved in the covenant fails to abide by its provisions. The Lord is the perfect judge who keeps His promises, but He also faithfully punishes disobedient people and nations. The Lord has the power to close heaven and cause drought to come to the land. If He, in His infinite wisdom, decides that war or even the outbreak of a deadly disease should be necessary to punish His people, He certainly has the power to use those things.
When the Lord’s judgment comes, however, its purpose is to turn the hearts of people to Himself. He knows how weak and sinful we are, and He lovingly gave Solomon a simple way to find forgiveness and healing.
We must first remember our relationship with our heavenly Father. In John’s gospel we are told that it is through Christ Jesus that believers have the privilege of becoming the children of God (John 1:12). If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are a child of God.
Then, we must humble ourselves before the Lord. The apostle Peter wrote that we should “be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Have you ever tried to explain something to a person who thinks he knows everything? Pride closes the ears of our hearts, but humility opens those ears to listen to the Lord.
Having remembered we are God’s children, we then come in humility to the Lord in prayer. God’s Word asks this question: “Is any among you afflicted?” The answer is: “Let him pray” (James 5:13). There may be times when you feel you have not prayed enough, but you will never feel you have prayed too much.
The Lord said, “seek my face.” We must ask ourselves if we honestly want the Lord with us at all times. David sang, “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually” (1 Chronicles 16:11).
Lastly, the Lord said His people should “turn from their wicked ways.” It is only when we truly repent of our sins that He hears our prayers, forgives us of our sins and heals us.
In this season we especially remember the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Shedding His blood and dying for you established a covenant that you will either accept or reject. The blood of the Son of God made an atonement for your soul. My prayer is that you have entered into that covenant by believing in Jesus as your Savior.
The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. He can be reached at [email protected]