I love reading the events where the glory of God comes down like fire, fills the house, and even the priests cannot enter, because the glory is so bright no human being can enter it in the flesh.
My reading this morning was 1 Chronicles 24 – 2 Chronicles 8. The seventh chapter is well known among Christians for verse 14. A verse many of us like to memorize, quote, and pastors and preachers like to preach, but I fear it is often applied in the wrong way. It is often applied as though it applies to the United States of America. I do not want to destroy anyone’s hopes and dreams for our nation, but there are no promises of God in the Bible for the U. S. of A. None.
Enough on that for now.
When we look at the first three verses of chapter 7 of Second Chronicles,
“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. 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.'” 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (KJV)
King Solomon had closed his prayer, and God shows up. Fire came down from heaven, consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. There was no room for anyone else. Now, is it not the glory of the LORD that all God’s children desire? I think so.
In chapter seven when the glory of God comes down God speaks with Solomon, appearing to him (v. 12) and saying,
“If 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; if 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.” (vv. 13-14)
This word from God is to Solomon and the people of Israel. Let us be not ignorant of this; there is no promise of God to any nation on the earth, previous to today, today, or after today; other than Israel. There is one thing for certain; the people of God are the people of God through their faith in God, and through His Son Jesus Christ.
There is certainly a principle given us in these precious words. Promise we can rest on and apply to life.
We need the hope these words give us. We can rest in God that He will do what is best for His people, but not necessarily for a nation. Let us be clear on this matter; the hope of the world is not the United States of America, Democracy, our Constitution, Bill or Rights, the Amendments to the Constitution, our President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Congress, Senate, Supreme Court or State governments. The hope of the world lies in the hands of God through faith in His Son. Our hope is not in the liberal agenda, the conservative agenda, the stock market, or the economy. All of these things can and will fail and fall; but our God lives forever.
When the heavens are shut up and what we have is drought, cattle are dying, crops will not grow, wells are drying up, lakes and reservoirs are drying, and people are dying of thirst; then we had better be praying, and seeking the face of God and His glory. When diseases are running rampant, pestilences, and plagues are destroying the land; and afflicting the people; then we better be seeking the face of our Creator, humbling ourselves before Him. Seeking government aid is not seeking God. That is seeking an idol
The only hope for the U. S. of A. is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and risen again bodily from the grave, seated at the Father’s right hand. The only hope for the world is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, buried and bodily raised from the grave, and seated at the Father’s right hand. He is coming again. Be ready.
-Tim A. Blankenship