If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 6-8

2 Chronicles 6

Solomon Blesses the People

1 Then Solomon said,

“The Lord has said that he would dwell
in the thick darkness.
2 But I have built you a house and home,
a place for you to dwell in forever.”

3 The king turned his face, and blessed all the assembly of Israel, and all the assembly of Israel stood. 4 He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with his mouth to David my father, and has with his hands fulfilled it, saying, 5 ‘Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man to be ruler over my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’

7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart, 9 nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born from your loins, he shall build the house for my name.’

10 “The Lord has performed his word that he spoke, for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with the Israelites.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

12 Solomon stood before the alter of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands 13 (for Solomon had made a bronze platform, 7½ feet long, and 7½ feet wide, and 4½ feet high, and had set it in the middle of the court; and he stood on it, and knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven) 14 and he said, “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth, you who keep covenant and loving kindness with your servants who walk before you with all their heart,15 who have kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him. Yes, you spoke with your mouth and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is today.

16 “Now therefore, Lord God of Israel, keep with your servant David my father that which you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your children take heed to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’ 17 Now therefore, Lord, God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you spoke to your servant David.

18 “But will the Lord indeed dwell with men on the earth? Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you. How much less this house which I have built! 19 Yet have respect for the prayer of your servant, and to his supplication, Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which your servant prays before you.

20 May your eyes be open toward this house day and night, toward the place where you have said that you would put your name; to listen to the prayer which your servant will pray toward this place. 21 Listen to the petitions of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Yes, hear from your dwelling place, from heaven, and when you hear, forgive.

22 “If a man sins against his neighbor, and an oath is laid on him to cause him to swear, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house; 23 then hear from heaven, act, and judge your servants, bringing retribution to the wicked, to bring his way on his own head, and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

24 “If your people Israel are struck down before the enemy because they have sinned against you, and they turn back and confess your name, and pray and make supplication before you in this house; 25 then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which you gave to them and to their fathers.

26 “When the sky is shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place, and confess your name, and turn from their sin, when you afflict them; 27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants of your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

28 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer and supplication is made by any man or by all your people Israel, who will each know his own plague and his own sorrow, and shall spread out his hands toward this house; 30 then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know (for you, even you only, know the hearts of the children of men) 31 that they may fear you, to walk in your ways, so long as they live in the land which you gave to our fathers.

32 “Moreover concerning the foreigner who is not of your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for your great name’s sake, and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house; 33 then hear from heaven, from your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you for, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by your name.

34 “If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you send them, and they pray to you toward this city which you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name; 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

36 “If they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin), and you are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy so that they take them captive to a land far off or near; 37 yet if they come to their senses in the land where they are carried captive, and turn back, and make supplication to you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done perversely, and have dealt wickedly,’ 38 if they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have carried them captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, and the city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for your name; 39 then hear from heaven, from your dwelling place, their prayer and their petitions, and maintain their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 “Now, my God, I beg you, let your eyes be open, and let your ears be attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.

41 “Now therefore arise, Lord God, into your resting place, you, and the ark of your strength. Let your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in goodness.

42 “Lord God, do not turn away the face of your anointed. Remember your loving kindnesses to David your servant.”

2 Chronicles 7

Fire from Heaven

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. 2 The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.

3 All the Israelites looked on when the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord was on the house. They bowed with their faces to the ground on the pavement, worshiped, and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,

“He is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.”

Solomon’s Solemn Sacrifice

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

6 The priests stood, according to their positions; the Levites also with instruments of music of the Lord, which David the king had made to give thanks to the Lord, when David praised by their ministry, saying “For his loving kindness endures forever.” The priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood.

7 Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord holy, for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat.

The Feast of Dedication

8 So Solomon held the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt.

9 On the eighth day, they held a solemn assembly, for they kept the dedication of the altar for seven days, and the feast for seven days. 10 On the 23rd day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that the Lord had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.

God’s Promise and Warning

11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and he successfully completed all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.

12 The Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself for a house of sacrifice.

13 “If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually.

17 “As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you will keep my statutes and my ordinances; 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom as I have covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man ruling in Israel.’

19 But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods and worship them; 20 then I will pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them, and this house, which I have made holy for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.

21 This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, ‘Why has the Lord done this to this land and to this house?’ 22 They shall answer, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and took other gods, worshiped them, and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’ ”

2 Chronicles 8

Solomon’s Additional Accomplishments

1 At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the Lord and his own house, 2 Solomon built the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, and caused the Israelites to dwell there.

3 Solomon went to Hamath Zobah, and prevailed against it. 4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities, which he built in Hamath. 5 Also he built Beth Horon the upper and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars; 6 and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.

7 As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel; 8 of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the Israelites did not consume, of them Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day. 9 But of the Israelites, Solomon made no servants for his work, but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen. 10 These were the chief officers of king Solomon, 250, who ruled over the people.

11 Solomon brought up Pharaoh’s daughter out of the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the Ark of the Lord has come are holy.”

12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of the Lord, which he had built before the porch, 13 as the duty of every day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times per year, during the feast of unleavened bread, during the feast of weeks, and during the feast of booths.

14 He appointed, according to the ordinance of David his father, the divisions of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their offices, to praise and to minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required; the doorkeepers also by their divisions at every gate, for David the man of God had so commanded. 15 They did not depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures.

16 Now all the work of Solomon was prepared from the day of the foundation of the house of the Lord until it was finished. So the house of the Lord was completed.

17 Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and to Eloth, on the seashore in the land of Edom. 18 Huram sent him ships and servants who had knowledge of the sea by the hands of his servants, and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and brought from there sixteen tons of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.

Romans 7:13-25

Struggling with Sin

13 Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, so that it might be exposed as sin, was producing death in me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceedingly sinful.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am flesh, sold under the power of sin. 15 For I do not know what I am doing. For I do not practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I do not desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.

18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I do not find it doing that which is good. 19 For the good which I desire, I do not do; but the evil which I do not desire, that I practice. 20 But if what I do not desire, that I do, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.

21 I find then the law that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 22 For I delight in God’s law after the inward man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, sin’s law.

Psalm 18:1-15

For the Chief Musician. By David the servant of the Lord, who spoke the words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said,

1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower.
3 I call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death surrounded me.
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
5 The cords of Sheol were around me.
The snares of death came on me.
6 In my distress I called on the Lord,
and cried to my God.
He heard my voice out of his temple.
My cry before him came into his ears.

7 Then the earth shook and trembled.
The foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken,
because he was angry.
8 Smoke went out of his nostrils.
Consuming fire came out of his mouth.
Coals were kindled by it.
9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down.
Thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub, and flew.
Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him,
darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.
12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,
hailstones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord also thundered in the sky.
The Most High uttered his voice:
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them.
Yes, great lightning bolts, and routed them.
15 Then the channels of waters appeared.
The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Proverbs 19:24-25

24 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
he will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.
25 Flog a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
rebuke one who has understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

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