2018-03-07 / Religion

There is no God like You

Sunday School Lesson
Rev. James Temples

2 Chronicles 6:1-21

As we read the word of God, it seems as if one is observing a great tapestry. The individual threads might not seem to add much to the intricate work of art, but the overall pattern is designed to please the artist. In this case our Heavenly Father — the creator of the universe is showing lost humanity the extent of his great love. A single thread is woven through this divine design — the blood of the sacrifice.

When Abraham made the journey to Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:1- 19), the thread might have seemed to be “out of place.” However, centuries later, king David, purchased this particular piece of property from “Ornan the Jebiusite.” 1 Chronicles 21:18-27. The purpose of this transaction was for the building of an altar.

David desired to build a house for the protection of the symbols of worship for his nation. He was not allowed to be the leader of this project. 2 Samuel 7:12, 13. However, his son, Solomon, was to build this place of worship. This purchased piece of property was the Godordained location for this structure. 2 Chronicles 3:1.

Even though David would not see the construction of this place of worship, he was to be an intricate part of the overall plan. When he conquered a nation, he took all of the riches that the king possessed. There was no collection for his personal gain. The record tells us that each of his military leaders “brought with him vessels of silver, and vessel of gold, and vessels of brass (copper): Which also David did dedicate unto the lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all the nations that he had subdued.” 2 Samuel 8:10d, 11. This act of “dedication” shows David declaring these pagan materials to now be ceremonially and morally “clean.”

The sacredness of this house was seen in the construction of this beautiful place of worship. The building was designed so that the construction of the parts was done in some other location. Each part was, then, brought to the site, and assembled. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither (there): so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” 1 Kings 6:7. The record tells us, “So was he [Solomon] seven years in building it.” 1 Kings 6:38d.

The only acts that mere humans can offer to God — Jehovah — is physical labor and our personal form of worship. Even though the materials used for the building of this magnificent building were gathered by humans, and had been dedicated to God, this human action could not make them sacred. Divine acceptance of the offering makes the physical object accepted for the intercession that lost mankind needs, otherwise “stuff is just stuff.”

The objects used in worship were brought into the completed building. The record says, “then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” 2 Chronicles 5:13d, 14.

Solomon witnessed this great display of the divine acceptance. He prayed, as he kneeled on the scaffold that had been built, and the people heard his prayer. 2 Chronicles 6:13. In this prayer, be began with acknowledgement of the one the nation was to serve. “And he said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven nor in the earth.” 2 Chronicles 6:14a.

The pagan gods of the surrounding nations could make no promises to those who worshipped them. Jehovah was/is the personal God of Israel “which keepest covenant, and sheweth mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts.” 2 Chronicles 6:14b. Their national history was one of the reasons for their present faith in the mercy of God- “Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.” 2 Chronicles 6:15.

The king recognized his need for divine help — “Now therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, there shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in thy law, as thou hast walked before me.” 2 Chronicles 6:16. Solomon desired for the promise of the past to be renewed — “Now then, O Lord God, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.” 2 Chronicles 6:17.

Since Jehovah chose to reveal himself to Israel, Solomon realized that this glory could not be confined to one location — “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?” 2 Chronicles 6:18a. Solomon did not use our “modern word” — omnipresent — yet, he described in his prayer — “behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” 2 Chronicles 6:18b.

Human petitions must always be accompanied with an attitude of gratitude and personal supplication. Solomon prayed, “Have respect therefore on the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: That thine eyes may be open this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.” 2 Chronicles 6:19, 20.

Pagan idols cannot hear the cries of the people. Jehovah can hear. Solomon continued his prayer, “Hearken therefore unto the supplications of (1) thy servant, and of (2) thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.” 2 Chronicles 6:21.

Personal forgiveness is possible because of the death of Jesus Christ. Have you accepted this divine provision? If not, please do so, today. John 3:16.

Rev. James C. Temples’ Sunday School Lesson has appeared in the Early County News each week since 1967. A native of Early County, Rev. Temples taught in public schools 32 years and 10 years at Southeastern College of Assemblies of God, in Lakeland, Fla. He also served as pastor and evangelist during those years. He can be contacted at P. O. Box 1484, Swainsboro, GA 30401; 478- 299- 2068. Email: temples_ james@ yahoo. co m

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