In part VI of my last article of this current series, “The Science of Judgment,” I pointed out that King Solomon had a good understanding of how God both blessed and chastised people and/or nations. Solomon knew that if the nation of Israel sinned against God by violating His standards for living, they would be attacked by their enemies. He realized that as a consequence of disobedience, they would be defeated in battles and wars; be taken in slavery; experience crop failure due to famine, etc. It is abundantly clear to me that Solomon had been taught the ways of God by instruction as well as example. The parents of children are the primary teachers in training people in the ways of God. Parents are to teach both verbally as well as by their personal lives being a living example of obeying the laws of God in attitude and behavior. Children recognize hypocrisy immediately and parents must be living examples/epistles to their children if they expect their children to desire their faith.
In this article I want to illustrate how King Solomon started off his duties as King of Israel so well, yet as time went by, he became increasingly more arrogant and disobedient until he personally, as well as the nation, suffered.
2 Chronicles 7:1-22: 1Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. 3And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
In the first three verses we see that Solomon’s prayer was Divinely accepted by the “fire coming down from heaven and consuming the burnt offering and sacrifices.” Throughout the Old Testament you will find that when God accepted the prayers of His servants He consumed the offering and sacrifices by fire (please read Leviticus 9:24). In the New Testament, we are to offer up our lives as living sacrifices daily in service to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once again, when the Lord accepts the prayers and sacrifices He consumes them by fire. In Acts 2:1-4, we read how they were in one accord obeying the instructions of Jesus to tarry until He sent them the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came upon them and they were consumed with the fire of God. Consequently, the anointing of the Lord came upon them and they spoke in other tongues. The fire of God comes today from the Baptism of The Holy Spirit and that gives us anointing from the Lord!
Now let us examine verses 4-7: 4Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD. 5And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. 7Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.
What is so important to understand in verse 4 is that “the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord.” If a family, city, state, or nation wants to have God bless them, they are going to have to be united in the ways of God. All of us know the saying, “united we stand, divided we fall.” A Godly entrepreneur needs all his employees pulling together in the goals of the business if the business is going to prosper. Now, the family can be united with every member of the family under divine kingdom order so the family unit is blessed by God, yet if the city or nation in which they live is not under God’s governmental authority, the city and state may instead be receiving the judgments of God. This is happening in cities, states, and nations throughout the world. Many Christian families are receiving the favor of God, but the city, state, and nation in which they live are having tremendous problems brought on by their ungodly attitudes and lifestyles. They are living as heathens, athiests, and evolutionists do; as a law unto themselves, and consequently, are receiving the promises of God for open rebellion (please refer to Deuteronomy 28).
Once again, the key for a nation to receive the promises of God for national prosperity and protection, is that the majority of the leaders (be it the King, President, Prime Minister, Senators, etc.), and all of the people, be under the laws of God, offering up their individual lives as living sacrifices. This is a far cry from where we are at currently in America! In verse 6, we read how those assigned to musical instruments (which originated under the leadership of King David) were all present and sacrificing before the Lord. King David instituted worship offered unto the Lord in the temple 24 hours a day. He understood the spiritual importance of each individual being in a spirit of worship. I believe that there are real benefits, not only spiritual, but also physical, emotional, mental, and psychological benefits to an individual’s personal welfare when they remain in a spirit of worship. King David also understood the importance of corporate, continual worship of the Lord (as is done in heaven around the throne room of God, Revelation chapters 4, 5 & 19) for the benefit of the nation. David is a classic example of not only an individual being favored and blessed, but his entire nation, the nation of Israel, receiving the forgiveness and blessings of God, as they remained ‘one nation under God’, during his lifetime. In this verse it mentions that the people “stood”, indicating to me both reverence, as well as being able to gather more of the people together. Both of these connotations are most important. We need to teach our children, employees, and nation to revere Jesus Christ as well as get as many people together as possible to look to the Lord for His blessings, favor, forgiveness, restoration and miracles, etc. In verse 8 we read another very encouraging truth. Solomon “hallowed the middle of the court.” This “middle of the court” was the courtyard where the brazen altar was. This is where the people brought their sacrifice to offer before the Lord so they could proceed God to offer their petitions. We see here such a gathering of people that it was needed to use the entire courtyard for sacrificing or looking to God. When a nation gathers in such quantities to look to God for their salvation, then revival on a national scale will take place. Praise the Lord!
8Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. 9And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the LORD had shewed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. 11Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.
The above four verses explained clearly another reason why God blessed Solomon’s house. Solomon honored the holidays that the Lord commanded. Whenever we put Jesus’ kingdom and house before our own, God will honor and bless us. I believe it is wise to remember and teach the truths of the holidays that the Jews were ordered to remember. Jesus Christ was in them all. There are seven special holidays set apart by God; all pointing toward Jesus Christ. I will mention them in order. The first divinely instituted holiday is The Feast of Passover found in Leviticus 23:4-5. This Godly holiday teaches us to have peace with God through Jesus Christ as now the blood of Jesus covers our sins and protects us so that the judgment of God will now pass over the Christian. In Egypt, Moses instructed the children of God to kill a sheep and put the blood over and on the sides of the doorpost. This pointed toward the blood of Jesus that protects us against the very death angel that killed the first born of Egypt, and is involved in the plagues of God described in the book of Revelation.
The second holiday in Leviticus 23:6-8 is The Feast of Unleavened Bread. This holiday was celebrated the day after Passover. The children of Israel left Egypt in such haste that they did not have time to cook their bread normally, which would have included leaven. God wants us to remember that we are to leave our old life and now follow Jesus Christ without procrastinating and always engaging in sin. Leaven represents a life of sin. Jesus is not only interested in our immediate condition of avoiding judgment. He wants us to walk in victory over sin so we can have constant fellowship with God, and live a life of miracles and victory. Jesus wants us not only justified before God, but He wants us also in a process of sanctification so the world can see Him living through us.
The third Feast or Holiday instituted by God for His people (Messianic Jew and Christian Gentile) to honor is, “The Feast of First Fruits” (Leviticus 23:9-14). The holiday teaches us about consecration. Jesus fulfilled this feast when He was resurrected from the dead, becoming the “first fruit” from that experience. This is a tremendous promise and hope for the believer as now we will never die but live even after our mortal bodies have been buried (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). I prefer when people remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, that they use the phrase, “today I am celebrating Jesus rising from the dead”, or “I am celebrating resurrection day”, or “I am celebrating ‘The Feast of First Fruits’.” I personally do not like to use the name “Easter” to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter, or Ishtar, was a name of the “Queen of Heaven” who was a pagan fertility goddess who gave birth to the sun god. Why do we need to compromise and call resurrection day “Easter” instead of the Biblical name, the “Feast of Firstfruits”? I believe the lukewarm church continues to compromise and use pagan names because they do not want to take on criticism from skeptics, atheists, agnostics, etc. So instead of challenging the culture with truth, and truly being a separate and peculiar people that is different from the culture, we try and blend in. Israel did this when they became as the nations who they lived with, thus bringing on the judgment of God. The compromising church tries to justify their actions by saying, “it does not matter. God looks at the heart”, etc. My answer to that type of justification is that the next time your wife has a birthday or anniversary, try and change the date of the celebration and instead celebrate her birthday or anniversary on Hitler’s, Stalin’s, or Saddam Husein’s birthday or anniversary. I know it would matter to your wife and I believe it matters to a holy God that the Bible calls a “jealous” God.
I believe it matters to God and the holy angels who I think grieve at the compromising, lukewarm church that cannot discern the difference between good and evil, and faithfulness or compromise any longer. All throughout the scriptures, God judges people and nations for compromise and He is still doing the same today, only the modern-day church does not even recognize judgment any longer. “9-11” was no coincidence!
The fourth holiday that Jesus already fulfilled is found in Leviticus 23:15-21, called “The Feast of Pentecost.” John the Baptist said that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and baptizes in the Holy Spirit (John 1:29,33; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). Jesus was exalted and became the glorified Lord who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:4-8 tells us that the purpose for being baptized in the Holy Spirit is to give us supernatural power. This supernatural power that encompasses the gifts of the Holy Spirit derived from God, is to help us to live and minister on earth as Jesus did.
The fifth divine holiday is found in Leviticus 23:23-25 titled, “The Feast of Trumpets.” The first four holidays have already been fulfilled by Jesus Christ and the remaining three have yet to come to pass. We are now, as the church, looking forward to Jesus returning and fulfilling these last three holidays. The Feast of Trumpets has several important truths to be remembered as well as looking forward to with great expectation. Jesus encountered spiritual warfare on earth and so will we. One important truth for believers never to forget is that Jesus is “the horn of our salvation.” Read about some of these declarations concerning our commander and defender Jesus Christ in Revelation 19:11-16; Luke 1:68-71; Psalms 18:1-3; Joshua 5:13-15; 2 Samuel 22:3; Colossians 2:15, etc. Not only do we see the shofar-trumpets used all through the Scriptures for warning and sounding for war, but also for announcement of the return of Jesus Christ (Joel 2:1; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Revelation 11:15 and chapter 19, etc).
The sixth holiday that we as believers in Jesus Christ should commemorate is called, “The Feast of Atonement,” mentioned in Leviticus 23:26-32. This holiday focuses on the return of Jesus Christ to judge the sins of the world. This event will be the literal fulfillment of the final great Day of Atonement. Read what the prophet Zechariah has to say about this futuristic literal fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Zechariah12:10-14; 13:1-2,8-9). Jesus also warned about this holiday being fulfilled in Matthew 24:29-31. John spoke about it in Revelation 1:7 and 19:11-16. Jesus already fulfilled the spiritual aspects of this Feast when He ascended into the heavenly holy of holies with His own blood to cover our sins from the wrath and judgment of God if and when we repent of our sins. This was the only required day in the Scriptures where people were commanded to fast. There has to be genuine godly sorrow with confession and repentance of our personal sins to be spared the judgment of God. The word atonement means to cover up. This is such a beautiful holiday to remember. Jesus covers up our sins from a righteous and holy God, thus keeping us from God’s wrath. Our sins can be covered up by the precious blood of Jesus Christ if we judge ourselves with the Word of God daily while the spirit is yet in our mortal bodies! “The Day of Atonement’ is also known by the phrase, “The Day of Judgment.” When we as believers understand the truths that Jesus wants us to learn in this wonderful holiday, we can enter God’s rest as we learn to cope with the trials of this life that test our faith.
The 7th and final, great holiday that I am looking forward to with great expectation is “The Feast of Tabernacles,” which is also called “The Feast of Ingathering”, or “The Feasts of Booths”. These additional names came about because the Hebrews slept in booths or shelters during the feast. The term “Ingathering” was designated because this holiday was celebrated at the end of the harvest. We as Christians should live our lives as if we are in temporary state, just as the Hebrews were during their time of the Exodus from Egypt, and their subsequent journeys in the wilderness. Christians sometimes forget that we are supposed to be serving Jesus on earth, building His kingdom. Instead, we live on earth as if we will never die and spend all of our energies and resources selfishly on ourselves, thus with no eternal rewards waiting for us in heaven. For the past few years, I personally have closed down my entire office as we all celebrate this holiday by living in tents for one week. This reminds all of us of the many blessings we now enjoy as Christians compared to the Hebrews in the wilderness. It also deals with our pride and ego. Living in tents together for a week tests our sanctification and helps develop our Fruit of the Holy Spirit. During this time we spend time with God, our families, and one another. This holiday is meant to teach us to rest in Jesus Christ both now (for our souls) and in the future in heaven (our spirits). I believe that the Holy Spirit now dwells within the believer thus giving us comfort or rest if we allow Him to. Also, when Jesus returns, He will again tabernacle Himself with us. I believe the Millennium or the futuristic 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth, is part of the fulfillment of this great holiday (Please refer to: Revelation 20:1-6; Isaiah 51:11). It also is fulfilled during the time which corresponds to the new heaven and new earth found in Revelation 21 and 22. (Focus on Revelation 21:1-6 and 22:1-5).
Let’s continue with 2 Chronicles 7. 12And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14If my people, which are called by my name, 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. 15Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the prayer that is made in this place. 16For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
At this point in Solomon’s life, he was a very devoted, righteous believer putting the kingdom of God first, and consequently God spoke to Him very intimately. This is the second time God appeared to Solomon. If we put God truly first, the Holy Spirit will speak to us intimately also. God once again gives Solomon the divine warning of His blessings and His chastening toward the nation of Israel. You and I need to take these warnings most seriously also if we want to have God bless our homes and our nation. The “cup of inquity principle” is always in operation for all people and nations. The key point to be remembered here is that the Lord said, “if my people, which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways...” The true problem of the nations is the church is backslidden. The church is responsible for the condition of the nation to some degree or another depending upon the nation. The clear message is that God puts the emphasis on the church to be involved in world evangelism. The church is supposed to be involved in nation building, which includes defending a nation against immorality spawned and birthed through false religions and philosophies, including evolution.
17And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; 18Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. 19But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations. 21And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house? 22And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
We read how, again, God warns Solomon directly that if he follows the ways of God as his father did, then God will also bless him; but if he does not obey God’s laws for serving Him, then chastisment and punishment will follow. It is also intuitively clear that King Solomon’s choices for following God in obedience or disobedience not only affects his personal life and family, but also the nation as well. The leaders of nations hold a great responsibility for the prosperity or poverty and judgment of the nation in which they live. We are going to continue to study King Solomon and see how this king who twice God appeared before, slowly compromised bringing on the consequences of his idolatry not only to himself and his family, but to the entire nation. There are consequences for our decisions in this life. America is being judged by God and 9-11 was no coincidence. Please pass this article on to other believers who you think will want to receive my articles each month. Together we can sound the alarm and warn the nations.
© 2005 World Ministries International