II Chronicles 6:18-21

In II Chronicles 6:13-42, Solomon humbles himself by kneeling in front of the entire assembly of Israel, and prays a prayer of dedication for the temple that he had just finished building.  He starts the prayer with praise for who God is, not for what He has done for him.  This is a good reminder for us, and it is the model that Jesus gave us in the Lord’s prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13)  God is worthy to be praised because of who is, not because He is a problem solving service for us.  And yet, Solomon also asks God to consider the requests of His servants.  He prays that God would hear and forgive.  (II Chronicles 6:19-21)  This implies the necessity on our part to repent.

In II Chronicles 6:18, Solomon states that God is too big to be contained within a physical structure on earth—even the highest heavens cannot contain Him.  So why then did he build the temple?  II Chronicles 6:20 tells us that God promised He would live there.  God wants to make Himself accessible to us.  God has established a covenant with His people, and through the temple they had a focal point to worship Him.  Even though the temple was often referred to as God’s dwelling place, it was not meant to contain Him, but to provide a place for His people to find Him.  That is not to say that today we need to go to a church to find God, for I Corinthians 6:19 tells us that we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Through the death of Jesus Christ, who became the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, we no longer need to go to a temple, but we do still need to humble ourselves before God, praise Him for who He is, and ask His forgiveness.  Then He will hear our requests.

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