Healing Our Land

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“When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, ‘He is good! His faithful love endures forever!’
Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God. The priests took their assigned positions, and so did the Levites who were singing, ‘His faithful love endures forever!’ They accompanied the singing with music from the instruments King David had made for praising the Lord. Across from the Levites, the priests blew the trumpets, while all Israel stood.
Solomon then consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar he had built could not hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and sacrificial fat.
For the next seven days Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. On the eighth day they had a closing ceremony, for they had celebrated the dedication of the altar for seven days and the Festival of Shelters for seven days. Then at the end of the celebration,Solomon sent the people home. They were all joyful and glad because the Lord had been so good to David and to Solomon and to his people Israel.
So Solomon finished the Temple of the Lord, as well as the royal palace. He completed everything he had planned to do in the construction of the Temple and the palace. Then one night the Lord appeared to Solomon and said,
‘have heard your prayer and have chosen this Temple as the place for making sacrifices. At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.’” - 2 Chronicles 7:1-15

I imagine that it was on a beautiful fall day that Solomon and the people of Israel came together to dedicate the temple. They had worked long and hard to build a permanent and magnificent structure to house the Ark of the Covenant. Finally, the day had arrived for the temple dedication. The people gathered and Solomon prayed. "When Solomon finished praying fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple" (2 Chron. 7:1).

I don't know about him, but if I were in his shoes, this would have been an unforgettable experience. It would have been his "foxhole" experience. I understand that in war when the bullets are flying and the bombs are exploding all around and a soldier feels that any breath will be the last, there are no atheists. Everyone gets right with God. If Solomon wasn't right with God before this manifestation of God, he would have been afterwards.

It boggles my mind at the thought of fire falling and filling a place. In my wildest dreams I cannot imagine the result of God igniting a place. I do know that I would be shaking in my boots and doing everything in my power to get right with God. This encounter teaches us what happens when a person gets right with God.

When a person get rights with God, the purifying fire of God's presence makes them holy like God.

God has always used fire to identifying his presence and purify his people. To Moses, God spoke through a burning bush, saying the place you are standing is holy ground. To Elijah, God consumed the altar with fire from heaven, proclaiming, among other things, that this was a holy man. To the first few believers in Jerusalem, God visited them in a violent blowing wind and tongues of fire, announcing that these were a holy people. To Solomon and the worshipers at the Temple, God came as a fire from heaven consuming the temple, stating that this was a holy place.

People who are right with God are separated from the world. They are holy. Jesus prayed that all his followers would be separated from the world, "I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth" (John 17:15-19). Jesus used the word sanctify three times. It means to set apart for sacred use or make holy. Remember what Peter wrote, "but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter1:15-16).

A person who is right with God is a holy person. They have separated themselves from the world. They have distanced themselves from sin. They have detached themselves from evil. It shows up in how they live, how they talk, and how they think.

A law of physics states that two object can't occupy the same space. That is true regarding our hearts. God and sin can't occupy the same space. A person who is right with God has confessed their sin so that only God resides in their heart.

Are you holy? Are you separated from the world? Have you distanced yourself from sin?

Prayer: 
“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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14
Date: 
Sep 30 2018