ISRAEL'S HISTORY: ANCIENT

Solomon’s Second Dream

Solomon’s Second Dream
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW February 12

 

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. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
2 CHRONICLES 7:14-15

Think back. Did your Sunday school or mid-week youth club teacher ever share that the Bible records Solomon had not one, but two lucid dreams? Both times God communicated promises not only for Solomon personally, but also for the nation of Israel.

 

READ TODAY’S TEXT: 2 CHRONICLES 7:12-22

After the jubilant temple dedication, God interacted with Solomon a second time through another dream.

In the first that occurred at the beginning of Solomon’s reign, God promised exceptional wisdom, wealth and fame along with an affirmation of Solomon’s succession to the Davidic Dynasty. The second dream clearly was God’s response to Solomon’s dedicatory prayer.

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Solomon Dreams. Illustration: Old Testament Bible Primer by Adolf Hult (1869-1943), [{{PD}}, No restrictions] via Wikimedia – Enhancement courtesy: MKM Portfolios

God’s acceptance of Solomon’s prayer was openly displayed as fire fell from heaven to consume the sacrifice on the altar (2 Chr. 7:1). Like God’s confirmation of the temple site by sending fire from heaven to consume David’s offering, this was another graphic validation that God was pleased with Solomon’s temple.

In his dedicatory prayer, Solomon asked God to not only hear prayers of repentance made in conjunction with the temple worship, but also to grant forgiveness (2 Chr. 6:21). God assured Solomon,

I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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 Chr. 7:12-14).

Mostly taken out of context, Christians are familiar with this part of God’s message to Solomon. We eagerly embrace the broader application for ourselves, but either ignore or forget that God’s promise was specific to the people of Israel and the land of Israel. As recorded in Scripture, God explicitly responded to Solomon’s prayer.

When the people of Israel experienced drought, natural disasters or pestilence as a consequence of national backsliding, the nation could come to the temple to ask God for forgiveness. God promised that coming to the temple as a nation in genuine repentant humility would not only result in forgiveness of national sin, but also in the physical healing of the land suffering from the consequences of Israel’s sin.

God continued,

Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually (vv. 15-16).

The two words translated “forever” and “perpetually” describe God’s intimate connection to the temple in Jerusalem. In today’s vernacular, God promised to be attentive to the temple forever—24/7—all day—every day—for all time.

Looking at the current situation, some question whether God failed to keep His promise about the temple. Close inspection of the covenant that God made with Solomon’s father, David, provides clarity.

The Davidic Covenant, like the other unilateral covenants, is unconditional. Just as the Land-Grant (Deuteronomic) Covenant confirms permanent ownership of the land, the Davidic Covenant guarantees a permanent dynasty, kingdom and throne to the descendants of David through Solomon. Both covenants are irrevocable (2 Sam. 7:10-17).

The blessings of possession of the land associated with both covenants, however, are conditioned on obedience of national Israel with the following consequences for non-compliance:

But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them (2 Chr. 7:19-20).

The dynasty, kingdom and throne still rightfully belong to the descendants of David through Solomon, but the benefits would not if the nation persisted in disobedience.

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Gouache on paper historical depiction: Solomon Room in the Palace on the Water in Warsaw. By Ludomir Dymitrowicz (circa, 1892 of a room in the Łazienki Palace, Warsaw). The paintings by Marcello Bacciarelli (circa, 1791 – 1793 no longer exist. The Nazis burned all 6 paintings of ”The History of Solomon” in a bon fire in front of the palace in 1944. [PD-US, PD-Art] via Wikimedia – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

 Continued disobedience without repentance ultimately resulted in Israel’s temporary removal from the land. The Land-Grant Covenant guarantees ownership and can never be forfeited; it also guarantees that God will always bring the nation of Israel back to the land (Deut. 30:1-20). Two Diasporas—one in Egypt and the other in Babylon—establish God’s faithfulness in bringing His Chosen People back to their homeland, their own land (Josh. 3:17; Ezra 1-3).

The next words God spoke to Solomon must have sent a chill down his spine. God warned Solomon, and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples (2 Chr. 7:20).

Why would God do this? The answer we find in the text is disturbing: Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers (v. 22). Instead of a testimony of God’s favor and blessing upon the nation of Israel as intended, the temple would become a “proverb and a byword” illustrating the consequences of disobedience; Israel would be the object of ridicule.

The temple was meant to be the visible testimony to the One-true God. Obedience to the law of God would bring blessing to the nation of Israel and thus, draw the nations to Jehovah.

Although Israel’s kings and people suffered the consequences of disobedience, God promised He will remain faithful and His purposes will be fulfilled.

Just look at the land of Israel today; and, ask yourself if God keeps His word.

Not only have God’s ancient people been re-established in their homeland, the nation is thriving through innovation and emerging technologies.

Use today’s text to share that message with your children or grandchildren—whether they are young or adults. Then, encourage your own heart with full knowledge that God keeps His promises to Israel; and, He can be trusted to keep His promises to New Testament Believers!

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture from the NKJV.