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Lessons from Solomon's Temple Dedication

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Sermon shared by Sterling Franklin

March 2008
Summary: Solomon's prayer includes Worship, Repentance, Petitioning, and a Restatement of the LORD as God. Prayer should lead to these things as well as spiritual rejuvenation, increased trust, peace that passes all understanding.
Denomination: *Other
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Observations from Solomon's Temple Dedication
2 Chronicles 6 & 7
Text Focus: 2 Chronicles 6:12-7:4

Originally given at New Hope Christian Fellowship (Assembly of God), Mundelein, IL
March 2008, Pastor Sterling C. Franklin

"ACTS" Model of Prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

Elements of each are present in this prayer, but some are more implicit than explicit.

A Few Theological & Personal Statements from Solomon's Prayer
----- A. The LORD knows the heart (6:30)
----- B. The LORD is Globally LORD (6:33)
----- C. No one is without sin (6:36)

Location & Posture
-----On a platform (so all could participate)
-----Kneeling (humility)
-----Lifted/spread out his hands (dependence, personal inadequacy)

Solomon begins with Worship (6:14-18)
-----A. Who He is - e.g. He alone is God (6:14)
-----B. What He has done - e.g. Remembrance of the LORD's covenant with the people (6:14)

Solomon continues with Various Pleas and Requests (6:19ff.)
Hear! (Used 12x in 2 Chronicles 6)

Solomon's requests
-----A. For the LORD to Hear! (Used 12x in 2 Chronicles 6 alone)
-----B. Mercy (6:19)
-----C. Forgiveness (6:21, 25, 27, 30, 39)
----------1. Forgive the sin... (6:25, 27; 7:14)
----------2. Forgive Your people (6:21, 30, 39)
-----D. Justice (6:23)
----------1. Sentence the Guilty
----------2. Acquit the Innocent
-----E. Restoration (6:26-27)

Solomon mentions several Results of Sin (6:24-28, 36-38)
-----A. Disaster
----------1. Defeat by an Enemy (6:24-26)
----------2. Captivity/Exile (6:36-38)
-----B. Disease
----------1. Drought (6:26-27)
----------2. Famine & Plague (6:28)
----------3. Blight & Mildew (6:28)
----------4. Locusts & Grasshoppers (6:28)

Solution: Repent!
Each major section of disaster and disease ends with a temporal clause ('when') or a conditional clause ('if') relating to the time of the repentance of the people. Thus, in this prayer of Solomon, confession and repentance are bound to be done and are more implicit.

Three recurring words for sin or types of sin in the Old Testament:
----- SIN ([ch]ata) - 'Missing the mark' - most general of the three.
----- TRANSGRESSION (pesha) - 'Crossing over' into rebellion.
----- INIQUITY ('avon) - Complete and rebellious depravity.

Where does God dwell?
-----A. Not in Temples made with hands... (6:18)
-----B. Heaven (6:30)
-----C. Today, Christians are Temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Literal vs. Symbolic Temple
-----OT: Temples are set apart for prayer and service to the LORD.
-----Now: We are Temples of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20)

Application: Offer yourselves as living sacrifices… (cf. Romans 12:1)!

The LORD's Approval
-----A. The LORD sends Fire from Heaven to consume the Sacrifices (7:1, compare with Elijah)
-----B. The Glory of the LORD palpably fills the Temple (7:1-3)
-----C. God can use Dreams & Visions (7:11ff.)
-----D. The LORD establishes a covenant (7:17ff.)

The Response of the People
-----A. Corporate Worship (7:3)
-----B. Sacrifices (7:4-5)
-----C. Joy (7:10)

Solomon's prayer includes Worship, Repentance,
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