Have you ever read the Old Testament cover to cover? That is what I am endeavoring to do. Three other sisters join me in documenting our journey and thoughts as we take turns blogging through the Bible. You are invited to read along and add to the discussion in the comments at our blogs, or in the women's online ministry where our idea for this began, OR if you are a blogger and think this is something you may like to jump into the rotation of turns with is, then just reach out to one of us. We would actually delight to have other sisters join us!
Chapter 5 and 6 were recently blogged about by Angela at her blog called No Longer Lukewarm. She has a fabulous index of Blogging Through the Bible there at her site.
Chapter 3 and 4 were blogged about by Stacey at her brand new (re-designed) blog called Words From the Wheel.
Tatiana kicked us into 2 Chronicles by addressing chapter 1 and 2 at her blog, The Musings of Mum.
I closed up the end of 1 Chronicles at our collaborative blog, Telling Hearts. We would be delighted for you to read and comment on our devotionals.
2 Chronicles chapter 7 and 8 Themes
I see that these chapters have strong themes of
~ REVERENCE and RESPECT
~ORGANIZATION and PLANNING
~SERIOUSNESS OF WORSHIP
~OBEDIENCE begats REWARD
Let's Take a Look at chapter 7
FIRE and GLORY
How cool is it, that at the beginning of chapter 7, we get an inside peek into the opening celebration for the extravagant temple built for the Lord. How interesting, that in the first paragraphs of this chapter we are told about sacrifices being made, a miraculous consuming FIRE coming down and devouring the "burnt offerings and sacrifices," AND the "glory of the Lord," appeared in the form of (previously described as) a dark cloud.
SERIOUS WORSHIP The people and priests were so moved by this sight, that they could not enter or look continually upon this sight but instead kneeled onto the ground to worship and say, "He is good. His love endures forever."
RESPECT and REVERENCE Next in the chapter the magnitude of sacrifice and organization and precision of this worship ritual, is told about. 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats were offered in sacrifice exactly as duties were planned, assigned and taught, right down to the musical instruments provided by King David. This worship and responsibility was taken seriously. It was planned and organized. It had to have been to accomplish what they accomplished in so small an area in (later we read) 7 days of the opening celebration.
ORGANIZED !! It was their culture, their faith, and we assume that most or all participating priests believed that their very eternal lives depended on how well they did their job, because this God that they served had shown Himself MIGHTY, All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and not to be taken lightly. They conducted their assigned roles for the worship and sacrifice services, organized and assigned.
Timeframe and Magnitude... And to have witnessed (or heard people in your community to talk about) this glory cloud of the Lord that people could not even look upon for long.....Can you imagine??
Verse 8 and 9 tells us that this opening celebration dedicating the temple to the Lord, took 7 days and then a festival was celebrated for 7 more days, with some sort of grand assembly in between. What a GREAT cultural, religious event or feat! All of God's people united for Him!
GOD SPEAKS to SOLOMON The latter part of chapter 7 is after the opening celebration. I think it is a rather sweet and intimate portrayal of the Lord visiting Solomon in the night, and basically claiming His love and affection for His people, with reminder that obedience begats reward, repentance is good, along with words of caution that disobedience and disloyalty in serving Him (the only true God) would result in the temple becoming a pile of rubble.
2 Chronicles chapter 8
Chapter 8 tells about Solomon's other great deeds and accomplishments while serving as King of Israel.
I thought it interesting that foreigners were put in positions of subservience, and that he built his wife, the Pharaoh's daughter, a new palace because he did not want her living where once the ark of the Lord had been kept -in David's palace. This is because he believed places where the ark of the Lord had been, were "holy." (Reverence and respect)
The rest of this chapter tells about honoring God in festivals, and in service according to ordinances by Moses or King David. With careful planning, what the forefathers of faith had started, King Solomon built upon and perpetuated. By all indications this culture was of a cooperative people who were happy to comply and follow instructions from authorities in charge. They TRUSTED their leaders and must have had a sense of duty and pride in serving to the best of their abilities to honor God. (Reverence and Respect)
Verse 16-18 tell about the extreme riches and amazing blessings that came to Solomon, and Israel under his leadership. (Obedience begats reward.)
* How do you think you would re-act if you saw the glory of the Lord? This passage reminded me of..... "blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29; KJV)
*These people presumably were very respectful of authority as it applied to getting the job done for building the temple, and then carrying out sacrifices and worship in an organized way. Is there some church or spiritual authority that you need to be more respectful of?
*If you are not under the authority of anyone or any congregation, do you think that at least an accountability partner in your life could be a blessing? Who might you enlist for this responsibility and honor?
*Are you grateful that we are offered Grace from Jesus's blood, and that we do not have to depend on animal sacrifices to cover your sin, if we are His?
Dear Father in Heaven, I am so grateful that you provided Jesus! Thank you for Your mercy and Your grace, and Your willingness to make a way for us. I am grateful that You preserved Your Word, and that You have good plans for those people who are called according to Your purposes and who follow Your voice. I want to be one of those people Lord!
To You we give all glory and honor, and we pray for your will to be done in our hearts and in our lives, and in all the world as in Heaven. In Jesus's name we pray, AMEN
1 Corinthians 2:9
...eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.