Today's Devotions

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Considering Humility & Weakness

  • The Weakness of My Motivations +

    What motivates me? Often it is pleasure—reading a good book, skiing, playing with the kids, sex, even work. I enjoy Read More
  • The Weakest in the Center: October 30 Devotional by Henri Nouwen +

    The Weakest in the CenterThe most honored parts of the body are not the head or the hands, which lead Read More
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Don  Carson

http://biblia.com/bible/esv/2%20Chronicles%206.12%E2%80%9342

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/1-john/5.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/habakkuk/1.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/luke/20.html

2 Chronicles 6:12–42; 1 John 5; Habakkuk 1; Luke 20

SOLOMON'S PRAYER OF DEDICATION (2 Chron. 6:12–42) is one of the great moments of Old Testament history and theology. Many of its features deserve prolonged reflection. Here we pick up on a few strands.

(1) Both the beginning and the end of the prayer fasten on God as a covenant-keeping God, the original promise keeper. In particular (and understandably), Solomon is interested in God's promise to David to the effect that his line would continue, his dynasty would be preserved (2 Chron. 6:14–17). Similarly the final doxology: "O LORD God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant" (2 Chron. 6:42).

(2) Although the temple was doubtless a magnificent structure, and although Solomon might understandably feel some sort of justifiable pride in its completion, his grasp of the greatness of God is sufficiently robust that he himself articulates, in memorable terms, that no temple can possibly "contain" the God who outstrips the highest heavens (2 Chron. 6:18). There is no trace of tribal domestication of God.

(3) The principal burden of what Solomon asks may be summarized quite simply. In the future, when either individual Israelites sin or the entire nation sinks into one sin or another, if they then turn away from their sin and pray toward the temple, Solomon asks that God himself will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin (2 Chron. 6:21–39). There are four remarkable elements to these petitions.

First, there is an astonishingly realistic assessment of the propensity of the people to sin, even to sin so badly that they may one day be banished from the land. A lesser man would have been tempted on such an occasion to introduce a lot of sentimental, Pollyanna-like twaddle about undying allegiance and the like. But not Solomon. He is a wise man, and he knows that sinners sin.

Second, however central the temple is to be as a focus for the prayers of the people (not least when they sin), God will hear their prayers not from the temple but from heaven, his dwelling place. Once again, God is not being reduced to the status of the tribal deities worshiped by the surrounding pagans. The phrasing of this repeated request for forgiveness makes the role of God the crucial thing—the God who fills the heavens, not the temple.

Third, insofar as the temple is critical, it is seen as the center of religion and worship that deals with the forgiveness of sin and thus restores sinners to God. The heart of the temple is not the choirs and the ceremonies, but the forgiveness of sin. In this day of ill-defined spirituality, it is vital that we remember this point.

Fourth, Solomon's vision extends far enough to include foreigners (2 Chron. 6:32–33)—a missionary thrust.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/2013/12/06/2-chronicles-612%e2%80%9342-1-john-5-habakkuk-1-luke-20/

Reflections to Consider

  • Transformed

    Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love Read More
  • Foolish Device of My Own

    Refuge O Lord,Whose power is infinite and wisdom infallible, order things that they may neither hinder, nor discourage me, nor Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Salvation Altogether (Spurgeon) +

    Salvation Altogether by Grace by C. H. Spurgeon “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not Read More
  • The Landscape of Piety: Majors +

    The following is recommended reading from the blog by Justin Taylor, on the gospel coalition website. J. I. Packer: For Read More
  • Why We Need the Puritans by JI Packer +

    1 Horse Racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider Read More
  • Cases and Directions Against Censoriousness and Unwarrantable Judging, by Richard Baxter (Puritan) +

    The following comes from: http://www.puritansermons.com/baxter/baxter26.htm Cases and Directions Against Censoriousness and Unwarrantable Judging. By Richard Baxter Tit. 1 Cases of Read More
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Gems

  • Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster +

    In Freedom of Simplicity Foster gently encourages us to see that our identity, our sense of comfort and security must Read More
  • Disciplined Spirituality Links +

    Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubach Simple but astonishing in its example of what discipline and perseverance can Read More
  • Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard +

    Understanding Changes Lives A good companion to Richard Foster's book Celebration of Discipline, the Path to Spiritual Growth; it provides Read More
  • Spiritual Classics, Richard Foster and Emilie Griffiin +

    Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines Good collection of essays, saints throughout the ages. A Read More
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