God Answers Solomon

Key Verse: “If my people … shall 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.”
—II Chronicles 7:14

Selected Scripture:
II Chronicles 7:12-22

AFTER ISRAEL’S TEMPLE was built and all the things which his father King David had dedicated to the house of God were installed, Solomon assembled the elders of the nation and heads of the tribes to Jerusalem. “The ark of the covenant of the Lord” was brought into the Temple and the “the glory of the Lord” filled the house of God.—II Chron. 5:1-7,11-14

King Solomon then blessed the congregation of Israel. (II Chron. 6:3-11) In prayer, he proclaimed there was no God like the “Lord God of Israel,” and he claimed the promises which Jehovah had made to his father David.—vss.12-42

In his prayer, Solomon humbly asks, “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven … cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” He then beseeches God to hear his prayer, that his eyes might be “open upon this house day and night,” and adds, “when thou hearest, forgive.”—vss. 18-21

Solomon knew that the congregation of Israel was unable to perfectly obey all of the Lord’s instructions and were therefore in need of his forgiveness. In his prayer he mentions some of these specific sins and implores God to “forgive the sin of thy servants,” when they confess to him and “turn from their sin,” while accepting the chastisements which Jehovah deems necessary.—vs. 26,27

Solomon then beseeches the Lord, saying, “If they sin against thee (for there is no man which sinneth not,) … and turn and pray unto thee, … saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul, … Then hear thou from the heavens, … and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.”—vss. 36-40

When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the offerings and “the glory of the Lord filled the house.” (II Chron. 7:1) God appeared to Solomon by night, assuring him, “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.” (vs. 12) Following this are the words of our Key Verse, in which the Lord gives the necessary steps for him to forgive Israel’s sins; they must humble themselves, pray and seek for the Lord’s favor, and turn away from sin.

As Christians, we must follow similar steps. First, we are to humble ourselves by recognizing our errors; we must “confess our sins” in prayer to God and acknowledge the righteous standards which he has given us. (I John 1:9) In addition, we must turn from our ways of sin and “repent” [Greek: to think differently] by changing our thoughts and behavior. (Rev. 3:19) Then, God “will hear from heaven” and forgive our sins through the righteous blood of Jesus.

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—I John 1:7-9