Morning Light – November 16th, 2015: Assured in Your Destiny

MLx250Today: [2 Chronicles Six] Assured in Your Destiny. In this chapter the dedication of the temple continues. Solomon in a display of deep humility bows down to God before all the people. He acknowledges that his father David was a bloody man and declares that the only reason he sits as king is because of God’s unconditional and merciful character. He prophetically prays out the destiny of the people of God and admits openly that he knows that he will fail and that the people will fail in many ways. Nonetheless AHEAD OF TIME he asks God for mercy and forgiveness.

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[2Ch 6:1-42 KJV] 1 Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever. 3 And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. 4 And he said, Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled [that] which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, 5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: 6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. 7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 8 But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: 9 Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. 10 The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 11 And in it have I put the ark, wherein [is] the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel. 12 And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands: 13 For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,

This is the second chapter that is part of the narrative regarding the dedication of the temple of Solomon. The cloud of God’s glory filled the temple and Solomon stands upon a raised platform and gets on his knees in the sight of all the people gathered. He declares that he has built the house of the Lord that his father David was disallowed to build because he had shed innocent blood specifically in the matter of Uriah the first husband of Bathsheba who happens to be Solomon’s brother. We see now the consequences of David’s choices regarding Uriah and Bathsheba. David was never removed from the throne and God did not reject him as a man after His own heart – however David was not allowed to build the temple. David did however design the temple, and he also amassed much of the building materials used in it’s construction.

Does the fact that David is not allowed to build mean that he wasn’t fully forgiven? Some have termed this an issue of governmental forgiveness. David was indeed forgiven in terms of his personal relationship with God but his choices had consequences and his destiny was affected by the choices that he made. One writer defines this as what it means to “humble thyself under the mighty hand of God…” (1 Peter 5:6). Do we have other examples of this? Consider Moses in Number 20:12. He was not allowed to bring the people into the promised land because he disobeyed God’s instructions by striking the rock instead of speaking to the rock. Another example would be Peter in Acts 15:7 was called to bring the gospel to the gentile nations but because he compromised with the Judaizers (Gal. 2:11) it was Paul and not Peter who became the dominant force for the gospel among the gentiles.

So we see that men like David, Moses and Peter even though the walked greatly in reward and blessing did see their destined outcomes shifted because of disobedience. It doesn’t mean that God didn’t love them or that they didn’t make heaven their home. Likewise in our own lives there are choices we may make that affect the ultimate outcome for our lives. In all of these instances none of these men were known to complain or charge God with unfairness. Rom. 12:2 tells us that the will of God rather than being a singular mandate is actually played out as a bandwidth of options considered the “good, the acceptable, and the perfect will of God…” They are ALL the will of God and it is our determined choices that decide which part of that experience will be our own in life.

14 And said, O LORD God of Israel, [there is] no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and [shewest] mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: 15 Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled [it] with thine hand, as [it is] this day. 16 Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. 17 Now then, O LORD God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David. 18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! 19 Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: 20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. 21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, [even] from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive. 22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; 23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness. 24 And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; 25 Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. 26 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; 27 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. 28 If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness [there be]: 29 [Then] what prayer [or] what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house:

Solomon humbles himself before the entire nation as he prays on his knees before God. He calls God into remembrance of His promises to his father David. God has promised that there shall not fail to be a son of David on the throne of Israel and in reminding the Lord of this Solomon is making it plain that he sees his place on the throne to be of God’s making and not on the basis of his wealth or the stability of the kingdom. Dan. 2:21 and Psa. 75:7 tell us that God sets up kings and brings down kings. We can certainly see this in the days when nations were ruled by monarchy but it becomes less clear in representative democracy. We might think that we as the voting public decide who will lead in government – but consider:

[Pro 16:33 KJV] 33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD.

What does this mean? As citizens of a democratic nation with a representative government we should participate in the electoral process. However in the final analysis if we choose to believe what the scripture says – we must acquiesce to the fact that even the outcome of elections is in God’s hands and not ours. Man can pull the voting lever but it is God who decides the outcome.

30 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:) 31 That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. 32 Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; 33 Then hear thou from the heavens, [even] from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as [doth] thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. 34 If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; 35 Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 36 If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before [their] enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; 37 Yet [if] they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; 38 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and [toward] the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: 39 Then hear thou from the heavens, [even] from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee. 40 Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and [let] thine ears [be] attent unto the prayer [that is made] in this place. 41 Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. 42 O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.

Solomon acknowledges ahead of time perhaps by the spirit of prophecy that the people will rebel and sin against God. No doubt to the people assembled there these were not welcome words. However Solomon openly acknowledges the capacity of the nation to stray from the hand of God and asks for forgiveness ahead of time. What can we learn from this? God makes many promises to us in His word and these promises are not based upon sinless perfection. God takes your humanity into account when He makes you a promise. When people look at your humanity they will find many pretenses to suggest you cannot have what God has promised. Likewise when you examine yourself from that perspective you may see many reasons why you cannot have what God has assured you in His word. This is the very definition of condemnation. God knows your frame. He knows you will falter and fail. He promises to you anyway. That doesn’t mean that you have a license to disobey – on the contrary because God is merciful you continue to seek His face even when you falter and fail – and in so doing your destiny will be assured.

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