Samuel’s life reminded us to pray one FOR another.
Now Solomon is reminding us to pray one WITH another!
And this prayer, surprisingly, focuses largely on sin, especially the sins of a nation! Even the “consequences” of sin are highlighted! Let me show you:
“When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, BECAUSE THEY HAVE SINNED against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and TURN FROM THEIR SIN, when thou dost afflict them; then HEAR thou from heaven, and FORGIVE THE SIN of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.” 2nd Chronicles 6:26-27
And the next few verses list other “punishments” for sin: “pestilence, mildew, locusts, enemy invaders,” how very costly is this little Nation’s wrongdoings. Yes, Solomon is King of Israel.
Still, “forgiveness” is sought! “Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and FORGIVE, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.”
I do not know of a single contemporary Head of State who would pray such a prayer! I mean world-wide, the entire globe. We’ve become so global minded, so “acceptant” of every view (including competing views, both of which could not possible be true), so reverent of so-called “tolerance!”
Folks, Solomon had a good beginning to his monarchy!
But later, as you know, he “fell” into gross sin.
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.” Then “Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.”
Sad: “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.” All the foregoing data is taken, word for word, from 1st Kings chapter 11.
My point today … a person can be so sensitive to sin, so afraid of iniquity at one point in his or her life … and then later adopt the very habits he once abhorred!
Had Solomon lived by the dictates, the desires, of his Temple Dedication Prayer, his life and Kingdom would have been far more godly!
What can we do?
Pray like this:
Jesus taught us. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Both Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4 record these petitions.
Let’s too ask the Lord to help, strengthen, us to be “faithful” all our lives! Paul again, an early “goal” of his … “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I MIGHT FINISH MY COURSE with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24
The truth is that, 30-35 years later, the Apostle did so, dying faithful and victorious! “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have FINISHED MY COURSE, I have KEPT THE FAITH: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell