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Posts Tagged ‘If my people’

I have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices … my eyes and my heart will always be there (2Chr7:12,16).

What an astounding promise God made to Solomon. This was the commitment of the living, holy and sovereign God, to his relationship with his people, Israel. He jealously safeguards this relationship and has stood by his promise, through the centuries, delivering them from their enemies, gathering them back from the nations and will bring them to a saving revelation of the Messiah, Yeshua.

This commitment of the Lord, gives us all hope. When we, through faith in Jesus, are grafted into the promise that comes through Abraham of righteousness through faith, we can be sure that he is as jealously committed to watching over us and safeguarding our relationship with him.

But let us not take this for granted and heed the lessons, first from Solomon and also from Israel. Solomon fell into a growing habit of ungodliness as he disobeyed God and took pagan wives and allowed pagan culture to seep into and take over and draw his heart away from God and contaminate the nation  (1Ki11:1-13). There are clear parallels for us. We can so easily take for granted our relationship with the Lord and absorb the values, culture and mindsets of our society, effectively shunting God to one side, taking his promises for granted, whilst we get increasingly lukewarm in our relationship with him. Let’s heed the warning and attend continuously and single-mindedly to deepening our relationship with the Lord, who is jealous for us.

True worship springs out of a living communion with God. As magnificent as it was, the Temple, in God’s eyes, was not an end in itself. It stood for the relationship between God and his people, a relationship that needed the commitment of their hearts to reach beyond the rituals and live a life of purity and obedience, set apart for the Lord out of which would come the transformation and renewal of their land and society (Is1:11-20). Instead, the Temple sacrifices and rituals became a hiding place for the people’s sins. They thought that as long as they observed the set rituals and paid lip service to the prayers, they could keep God happily contained and could get on with their lives as they wished. (Is58:1-4). In the end, God’s only remedy to shock his people into realising their plight and returning to him, was to remove the Temple altogether. It happened twice, because they still did not learn after the first time. The destruction by the Romans of the second Temple (70AD) was absolute, they (did) not leave one stone on another, as Jesus prophesied (Lk19:44).

The words of the Lord to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 are a declaration of his commitment to Israel, within the prophetic warning that he also gives Solomon of the shaking that is to come upon the nation and its people. And so God makes his urgent plea in v14, for his people to remember that the shaking is a siren call to them to return to seeking him wholeheartedly and to holiness.

As we are living through times when the nations are literally being shaken and some of the foundations of our societies are being dismantled, we need too, to heed this call of God. Yes, it is a call to pray and to intercede, but it is firstly a call to return to holiness and a single hearted seeking of God. We cannot point the finger away from ourselves at “godless society” and call upon God to change them, without first attending to our own house.

As he spoke to Solomon and then did, so he speaks now to us and is doing: his shaking is as much to shake the dross and contamination of the ways and thinking of the world off us, that we his people have allowed to infiltrate our lives, our service, our churches – that have compromised and diluted the single-mindedness with which we should seek the Lord. As he did to Israel, so he is doing now, in removing the hiding places for our sins.

Father is purifying the bride of Jesus. And as he says (v14), it is through our return to holiness and purity that cleansing and healing will come to our land and its people.

Download a podcast of the full teaching, here

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