Big moments tend to linger in our minds. The great moments we want to linger—as long as possible. We cherish them and dwell upon them. They bring a combination of joy and adrenalin that breeds energy and excitement. We lose ourselves in these moments sometimes. We enjoy the positive feelings they bring so much that we forget that live goes on and so must we.
The Holy Spirit recorded one such moment in 2 Chronicles 7. After Solomon led Israel in a prayer to Yahweh at the dedication of the temple, the people witnessed the LORD consume their offerings with fire and then remained as the LORD’s glory filled the newly constructed building. All they could do was bow in worship and praise (2 Chr. 7:1-3). For most of us, this would have proven sufficient, but they continued to offer sacrifices and praise, with all the people standing (2 Chr. 7:4-6). This initiated a weeklong feast, followed by yet another assembly where they dedicated the bronze altar (2 Chr. 7:7-9), after which Solomon sent the people home in a state of unsurpassed joy (2 Chr. 7:7-11). But after this, the LORD spoke to Solomon, both acknowledging the temple and emphasizing the relationship He would have with the people, including its conditions (2 Chr. 7:12-16). He required faithfulness from Solomon and faithfulness from the people (2 Chr. 7:17-20). The temple—in all its glory—would never replace obedient hearts dedicated to the LORD (2 Chr. 7:21-22).
From this powerful chapter, we should glean practical lessons from this account based on the principles upon which the LORD worked with His people.
- First, no matter how great our worship may be it will never compare to the greatness of the One we worship (Jn. 4:23-24).
- Second, no matter how much we gave or served at one time will not make up for unfaithfulness at a later time (Gal. 5:1-4).
- Third, we can never give too much to the Lord (Mk. 12:42-44).
- Fourth, rather than celebrating our own accomplishments, we should give glory to God in what He has accomplished (Rom. 15:6).
- Fifth, all that we do for the LORD is because of what WE need—not because of something He needs (Acts 17:24-25; Rom. 5:8-9).
- Sixth, the LORD requires ongoing faithfulness for us to receive ongoing blessing (Rev. 2:10). And seventh, we must never take our relationship with God for granted (Rev. 2:4; 3:1).
The fact is, we can get so caught up in the things we do for God that we lose sight of the God for which we do them. May we ever humbly consider the graciousness of our God and remember that we are but unprofitable servants (Lk. 17:10).