READING: 2 Chronicles 6-7; Psalm 136
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: The 2 Chronicles passage duplicates Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple in 1 Kings 8, and Psalm 136 is a song of praise for God’s goodness – perhaps like the song the people would have sung at the Temple dedication.
1. We are to praise God for His goodness.
Psalm 136 echoes with the phrases, “Give thanks” (4 x) and “His love is eternal” (26 x). The psalmist reminds us that we must give thanks for the God who created the world, who freed His people from Egypt, and who gave them a land. I can only imagine the choir singing His praises as they saw His glory fill the Temple.
2 Chron. 7:3 “They worshiped and praised the Lord: For He is good, for His faithful love endures forever.”
QUESTION: Do I praise God with that kind of passion?
2. When we praise Him, the nations will hear.
Both 1 Kings 8:41-42 and 2 Chronicles 6:32-33 tell us the nations would hear of God’s great name and come to the Temple to pray. There, the God who was not limited to the Temple would hear them – and then through the foreigners would all the peoples of the earth know His name.
2 Chron. 6:32-33 Even for the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of Your great name and Your mighty hand and outstretched arm: when he comes and prays toward this temple, may You hear in heaven in Your dwelling place, and do all the foreigner asks You. Then all the peoples of the earth will know Your name, to fear You as Your people Israel do and know that this temple I have built is called by Your name.
QUESTION: Do my praises echo so loudly that others hear of Him, or do I tend to keep my praises to myself?
3. Praising Him today is no guarantee we will praise Him tomorrow.
God warned Solomon that if His people who praised Him that day were ever to forget Him and turn to other gods, He would exile them and abandon the Temple – which is exactly what happened. Only God's eternal love protects us.
2 Chron. 7:19-20 However, if you turn away and abandon My statutes and My commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for My name I will banish from My presence; I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples.
QUESTION: Do I recognize that I, too, could turn to other gods tomorrow if I don’t focus on God today?
PRAYER: Pray that I will keep my eyes focused on God, will turn from temptation, and will praise God loudly today.
TOMORROW’S READING: Psalm 134, 146-150