Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
To see more Bible study outlines go to page two: More Bible Study Outlines.
PEOPLE GAVE THANKS TO GOD
March 18, 2018
SCRIPTURE: 2 Chronicles 7:1-9
KEY VERSE: And 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. (2 Chronicles 7:3)
INTRODUCTION: In the Books of Chronicles, the focus of attention is on the Temple in Jerusalem. The Temple mount is a holy place.
· In 2 Chronicles 6 we have the dedication service of the Temple: The Nation of Israel and the Jewish people showed honor to their Lord.
· In 2 Chronicles 6 we have Solomon’s message and his prayer of dedication: With great humility King Solomon gave praise to the Lord God Almighty.
· In 2 Chronicles 7 we shall see God’s response to that message and prayer: God sees, hears, and knows what His people are doing all the time.
INSIGHT: Please remember that the LORD (Jehovah) is the God of Israel and the LORD (Jehovah) is also the God of the Christian. Also remember that anyone may be saved (Jew or Gentile) if they will place their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
I. THE LORD’S GLORIOUS PRESENCE. (2 Chronicles 7:1-3)
A. Fire And Glory Came Down Was God’s Response.
(2 Chronicles 7:1) Now 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.
1. This is what happened at the end of Solomon’s prayer.
You may recall when Moses finished the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness. When he set it up, the glory of the Lord filled it (Exodus 40:34–35). God accepts this Temple that Solomon has built.
Notice that fire from heaven consumes the sacrifice. This means that the judgment of God has fallen upon sin. (1) God does NOT accept the Temple because it is beautiful -- and it is that. (2) He does NOT accept it because of the lavish expenditure of wealth. (3) The basis of His acceptance is the fact that it is pointing to Christ. It is Christ’s sacrifice, actually, that makes this acceptable to God. The glory of the Lord filled the Temple, as we have seen in the final verses of 2 Chronicles 5, and now also fire from heaven consumes the burnt offering.
2. These people saw the visible presence of God.
In the New Testament, in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, he answers the question: who are Israelites? He gives eight fingerprints of identification, one of which is that they had the glory. No other people have had the visible presence of God except the Israelites (i.e., the nation of Israel).
B. Worship And Praise Was The People’s Response.
(2 Chronicles 7:2-3) And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And 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.
Here is an expression that I trust will get into our vocabulary, and that we will say from time to time, “The Lord is good; His mercy endureth forever.” The Lord IS good! You recall that the psalmist said, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2).
If you and I are NOT “SAY-SO CHRISTIANS,” nobody else will be. The Lord IS good! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Take a stand for Christ!
II. THE OFFERING OF SACRIFICES. (2 Chronicles 7:4-9)
A. We need to look at things in the light of the Word of God.
(2 Chronicles 7:4-5) Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. And 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.
INSIGHT: These verses have caused a great deal of criticism by the skeptics of the Bible. They love to criticize on the basis of three issues: (1) They say this offering and sacrifice was an extravagance; (2) they say it would have been physically impossible to offer that many sacrifices on the altar; and (3) they say there was no necessity for all this slaughter of animals. I’m sure the members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would protest this. Let’s look at these three issues from a biblical perspective.
1. In the first place, although the Temple was the center for all this activity, I do not think that every one of those animals was sacrificed on ONE altar.
For this special occasion they probably had erected altars all over that Temple area. It was not a physical impossibility.
2. Why was there all of this expenditure?
Well, it was necessary in order for each area to have its own sacrifice. It was as when the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt and a lamb was slain for each home. There must have been literally thousands of lambs that were slain that night. It was not a needless waste for two reasons.
a. The primary meaning of it is that it symbolizes the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was Simon Peter who said that His blood was precious. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18–19). This is not a great expenditure because it is pointing to Christ.
b. The second reason that it was not a “needless waste” was that the meat was used for food afterward.
Although the “burnt offerings” were totally consumed by fire, other offerings, such as the peace offering, were eaten. This dedication of the Temple was a time of great feasting and great celebrating.
INSIGHT: To anyone who thinks they were slaying too many animals for sacrifice, how many animals are slain in this country every day? There are thousands of animals slain every day in the packing houses of our country. No one raises a voice or does anything to protest that. After all, that is to satisfy us. But when something is done for the glory of God, there will always be people who will object. I don’t know about you, but I’m on Solomon’s side here. I think he did the right thing, because the sacrifices were pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He shed His precious blood for you and me.
be fair with the Bible
By Vernon McGee
I have observed the people who are always talking about the great extravagance of money spent for the Lord. It is an amazing fact that even Christian people are guilty of this kind of criticism. I knew a dear lady who was very much interested in Bible classes; she had one in her home. We had a Bible teacher come to our church. The people liked him, and they gave him a very generous offering. He stayed with us for about ten days and the church gave him $500.00 plus his expenses.
This lady thought that was ridiculous; it was too great an expenditure. Also this lady was interested in music, and she was on the music committee of the town where she lived, and they brought a certain opera singer to town. He sang one night and they gave him $2,000.00. She thought that was wonderful.
May I say to you, it is interesting that when something is being spent for the Lord it is just a waste, but when something is spent for the things of the world it is all right. – From Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
B. We need to praise the Lord for what He has done for us.
(2 Chronicles 7:6) And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music 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.
The Levites and priests, at the dedication of the Temple, spent a lot of their time taking a leading role in the congregational worship of their God.
This included various “musical instruments” being played by the Levites. This special occasion also included some priests blowing “trumpets.” The priests stood together while giving “thanks” to God and giving praise. All during this time, out of respect for the Lord, the people of Israel stood.
INSIGHT: Has He been good to you, friends? Well then, say so!
C. We need to take time to worship the Lord.
(2 Chronicles 7:7-9) Moreover 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. Also 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. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
1. The Temple dedication lasted a week.
It took place in the seventh month and then they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles which lasted another seven days. Apparently, at the end of the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the people were released to go home.
2. They had a huge crowd.
They came from the entering of Hamath to the river of Egypt which means from the extreme north to the extreme south of the land. That is a BIG crowd of people. They loved the Lord!
By Vernon Grounds
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord! – Psalm 27:14
· Why bother going to church?
Some would tell us that it’s better to sleep late on Sunday, eat a leisurely breakfast, and lounge around talking with the family. And then maybe have lunch with friends or enjoy a picnic and games with the children. “Make it a day that’s different and even restful,” some would say, “but don’t waste time by going to church on Sunday!”
· Worship? Who needs worship anyway?
We all do! We need worship because we are unique creatures made in the image of God. We are made for God, so we can’t fulfill our purpose unless we develop a right relationship with Him. And worship helps us to do that when we focus on the Lord.
· We need to worship TO BE MORE LIKE OUR LORD.
As we join with other worshipers in church, our hearts are lifted out of this temporal world into God’s eternal world. According to William Temple, in worship the conscience is quickened by the holiness of God, the mind is fed by the truth of God, the imagination is purged by the beauty of God, the heart is opened to the love of God, and the will is devoted to the purpose of God. And therefore we are helped onward in our goal of becoming more like Christ.
· We need to prepare our hearts for worship.
Let’s decide now that on Sunday we will be in church with a heart prepared to worship.
Our week's not
complete till we make it our goal
To honor the Lord's Day and nourish our soul;
The help that we need for the tasks that we face
Will come as we worship and draw on God's grace. – Dennis J. DeHaan
-- Adapted from Vernon Grounds, Our Daily Bread, January 13, 2001
CONCLUSION: When we read 2 Chronicles chapter 7:1-9 what do we find?
· We find fire and glory.
The fire came to devour, and the glory came to dwell. There was glory at the start of the service (2 Chronicles 5:14) and glory at the close!
But there could be no glory apart from the sacrifices that took care of the sins of the people. Isaiah saw God’s glory, but before he was ready for service, he had to feel the fire (Isaiah 6:1–8). Most of us want the glory, but we resist the fire.
· We find falling and feasting.
This demonstration of God’s power and glory brought the people to their knees, but when the service ended, they rejoiced with feasting.
Contradictory? Not in the least. We are to “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11). It was said of Moses and some others, “So they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:11).
· We find promise and warning.
What an encouragement to know that God hears our prayers! God graciously granted what the king asked for, but He added a word of caution: “These blessings are given when My children obey.”
Disobedience means discipline, not because God hates us but because He loves us and wants to bless us even more.
Prayer went up, fire came down, and glory moved in. We couldn’t ask for anything more?
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “What you worship determines what you become.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD C. PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-Mail: Ronald Purkey