Summary: How do we have a great life? 1. Restore the temple 2. Restore the people 3. Rely on God.
"If My People"
1. Restoration of the Temple
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.”
The temple was complete. It was a great accomplishment of the Lord. The promise of a great temple had been fulfilled. Every part of it was filled the gold, silver, and precious jewels. No expense had been spared. Truly, at this point the people of Israel had given God the very best of what they had. Solomon and the people had dedicated the temple with great sacrifices.
God had made His presence known to all the people by filling the temple with His glory. What an awesome sight it must of been to see "fire coming down from heaven". The people worshipped their God and proclaimed, His goodness and His enduring love.
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the people dedicated the temple of God. 2 Chronicles 7:4-5
All that remained was the reminder to the people. Why, because they had worshipped and dedicated themselves before. Then they would get comfortable and forget the Lord and worship other Gods. The Lord would discipline them then they would repent and He would redeem them once again. The cycle was restoration, sin, judgment, repentance, and restoration.
The Lord reminded Solomon once again of some very important truths. 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 says,
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
2. Restoration of the People
It is a conditional statement. It implies that there are options. It also means that there is a choice involved on our part. A choice by us takes an act of the will. We can either take the offer or we can refuse the offer and accept the consequences.
It is an opportunity from the Lord. He is almighty God. He does not have to offer us anything. The great part of this offer is He desires top give us a chance, an opportunity that would not be offered if it were not for Him. It is freely given with no obligation on His part.
"my people" Ephesians 1:13,
I love these two words. They imply a personal relationship, not ownership, but relationship. God has chosen the Israelites out of all the peoples on the earth, they are His and He is their God. Above all He desires a relationship with them.