Summary: This is a sermon concerning the prayer offered by Solomon to God upon the complettion of the building of the temple and Gods response in II Chronicles.
Many times in our social existence we hear of strikes being called. Strikes have a definite adverse effect on all of us. Strikes can cripple us in our everyday living and we lost the benefits that we so often take for granted. Baseball has suffered through a strike, football has suffered through a strike, and hockey has suffered through a strike. There are airline strikes, telephone strikes, longshoremen strikes and transportation strikes. When there are no planes flying people are grounded and stranded. Whenever the telephone operators go on strike you cannot get through to long distance or dial 411 and for some it is hard to get through to the Psychic Hotline and talk to Miss Cleo. When the Longshoremen don’t to the piers, the good just sit on the shore or stay on the ships. Whenever those “18 wheelers” those tractor trailers are parked, it is hard to get vegetables and meats to the market. Whenever there is a impasse between management and labor…. a strike is called. When a strike is called no matter what type of strike it is, somebody suffers.
THERE ARE TIMES IN LIFE….WHEN WE TAKE SO MANY OF THE NATURAL BLESSINGS OF GOD FOR GRANTED…THAT WE TEND TO VOID OURSELVES OF THE BLESSINGS OF AIR, WATER AND THE LAND.
Our text directs us to that point for at any time we can be cut off, for the Scripture says: “If I shut up the heavens..” This signifies the possibility that God can. I have come to believe that we never stop to thank God for the simple things in life: the earth, the sunlight, the air we breathe, we just assume it will be there. Some of us are just going along our merry way not even thanking God for allowing us the very privilege of life.
And the question that arises from the text today is, WHAT IF GOD GOES ON STRIKE? What would happen if God decided to withhold from us the benefits of nature? How would you fare if God goes on strike? When viewed from the text, we can see how God does have the power to command or will a strike by the elements of nature.
EXPOSITION OF TEXT
Here in this pericope of scripture we have Solomon, son of David, realizing the blessing that he has. We see where has built a temple in Jerusalem and has prayed unto the Lord. A grand celebration was given and sacrifices were made, 120,000 sheep and 22,000 oxen, all given in sacrifice for all that God had done. In consideration for what God had allowed Solomon to do in the building of the temple at the summit on Mt. Moriah, Solomon was thankful to the Lord.
The temple was ever so glorious, full of finery from all around. The nails were made of fifty shekels of gold, the beams were made of gold, and cherubim all around made of gold…. Precious stones and gems decorated the temple. It was a pretty as pretty could be. The size and length of the temple was a great as great could be. In a modern day assessment the building was 660,000 cubic feet. It was a tall as it was wide. Imagine that if you will. It was glorious….brass pots and lamps lining the walls of the temple…..all for the glorification of God.
A lot of labor and effort went into the building of the house of God. In consideration for the task that he was able to do, Solomon never forgot that it was God who allowed him to get from the foundation to the temple. The effort and the energy that it took to complete it was nothing more than the Lord blessing him. For the Word tells us, “except the Lord build a house…we labor in vain.” We see here Solomon in his prayer offering thanks to God for the blessing of the completion of the temple.
In all of his praying, in all of his ceremonial celebration, Solomon waited for an answer from the Lord. The Chronicle writer states in verse 1 that “The Lord’s glory filled the temple.” The Lord heard Solomon’s prayer. God’s presence filled the temple and the people were in awe of the presence of God. And then the writer says, “The Lord appeared unto Solomon and said, Solomon, I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land or send pestilence among my people; if my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” You see God was concerned about the plight of the people with whom a covenant had been made. God wanted them to know that He was still God above everything and anyone else. Israel had a penchant for turning away from God each time He had blessed them. They were easily persuaded into serving other gods, and they were quick to forget how good God had been to them. Oh how often we too forget how good God has been to us.