June 13-14, 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalms 134, 136, 146-150

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Solomon’s Dedication of the Temple

Then Solomon said:

The Lord said he would dwell in total darkness,
but I have built an exalted temple for you,
a place for your dwelling forever.

Then the king turned and blessed the entire congregation of Israel while they were standing. He said:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!
He spoke directly to my father David,
and he has fulfilled the promise
by his power.
He said,
“Since the day I brought my people Israel
out of the land of Egypt,
I have not chosen a city to build a temple in
among any of the tribes of Israel,
so that my name would be there,
and I have not chosen a man
to be ruler over my people Israel.
But I have chosen Jerusalem
so that my name will be there,
and I have chosen David
to be over my people Israel.”
My father David had his heart set
on building a temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
However, the Lord said to my father David,
“Since it was your desire to build a temple for my name,
you have done well to have this desire.
Yet, you are not the one to build the temple,
but your son, your own offspring,
will build the temple for my name.”
10 So the Lord has fulfilled what he promised.
I have taken the place of my father David
and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised.
I have built the temple for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.
11 I have put the ark there,
where the Lord’s covenant is
that he made with the Israelites.

Solomon’s Prayer

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 For Solomon had made a bronze platform 7½ feet[a] long, 7½ feet wide, and 4½ feet[b] high and put it in the court. He stood on it, knelt down in front of the entire congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven. 14 He said:

Lord God of Israel,
there is no God like you
in heaven or on earth,
who keeps his gracious covenant
with your servants who walk before you
with all their heart.
15 You have kept what you promised
to your servant, my father David.
You spoke directly to him,
and you fulfilled your promise by your power,
as it is today.
16 Therefore, Lord God of Israel,
keep what you promised
to your servant, my father David:
“You will never fail to have a man
to sit before me on the throne of Israel,
if only your sons take care to walk in my Law
as you have walked before me.”
17 Now, Lord God of Israel, please confirm
what you promised to your servant David.
18 But will God indeed live on earth with humans?
Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain you,
much less this temple I have built.
19 Listen[c] to your servant’s prayer and his petition,
Lord my God,
so that you may hear the cry and the prayer
that your servant prays before you,
20 so that your eyes watch over this temple
day and night,
toward the place where you said
you would put your name;
and so that you may hear the prayer
your servant prays toward this place.
21 Hear the petitions of your servant
and your people Israel,
which they pray toward this place.
May you hear in your dwelling place in heaven.
May you hear and forgive.
22 If a man sins against his neighbor
and is forced to take an oath[d]
and he comes to take an oath
before your altar in this temple,
23 may you hear in heaven and act.
May you judge your servants,
condemning the wicked man by bringing
what he has done on his own head
and providing justice for the righteous
by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
24 If your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against you,
and they return to you and praise your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before you in this temple,
25 may you hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of your people Israel.
May you restore them to the land
you gave them and their ancestors.
26 When the skies are shut and there is no rain
because they have sinned against you,
and they pray toward this place
and praise your name,
and they turn from their sins
because you are afflicting[e] them,
27 may you hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of your servants
and your people Israel,
so that you may teach them the good way
they should walk in.
May you send rain on your land
that you gave your people for an inheritance.
28 When there is famine in the land,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper,
when their enemies besiege them
in the land and its cities,[f][g]
when there is any plague or illness,
29 every prayer or petition
that any person or that all your people Israel may have—
they each know their own affliction[h] and suffering—
as they spread out their hands toward this temple,
30 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and may you forgive and give to everyone[i]
according to all their ways, since you know each heart,
for you alone know the human heart,
31 so that they may fear you
and walk in your ways
all the days they live on the land
you gave our ancestors.
32 Even for the foreigner who is not of your people Israel
but has come from a distant land
because of your great name
and your strong hand and outstretched arm:
when he comes and prays toward this temple,
33 may you hear in heaven in your dwelling place,
and do all the foreigner asks you.
Then all the peoples of the earth will know your name,
to fear you as your people Israel do
and know that this temple I have built
bears your name.
34 When your people go out to fight against their enemies,
wherever you send them,
and they pray to you
in the direction of this city you have chosen
and the temple that I have built for your name,
35 may you hear their prayer and petition in heaven
and uphold their cause.
36 When they sin against you—
for there is no one who does not sin—
and you are angry with them
and hand them over to the enemy,
and their captors deport them
to a distant or nearby country,
37 and when they come to their senses
in the land where they were deported
and repent and petition you in their captors’ land,
saying, “We have sinned and done wrong;
we have been wicked,”
38 and when they return to you with all their mind and all their heart
in the land of their captivity where they were taken captive,
and when they pray in the direction of their land
that you gave their ancestors,
and the city you have chosen,
and toward the temple I have built for your name,
39 may you hear their prayer and petitions in heaven,
your dwelling place,
and uphold their cause.[j]
May you forgive your people
who sinned against you.
40 Now, my God,
please let your eyes be open
and your ears attentive
to the prayer of this place.
41 Now therefore:
Arise, Lord God, come to your resting place,
you and your powerful ark.
May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
and may your faithful people rejoice in goodness.
42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one;[k]
remember your servant David’s acts of faithful love.

The Dedication Ceremonies

When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests were not able to enter the Lord’s temple because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the Lord came on the temple. They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the Lord:

For he is good,
for his faithful love endures forever.

The king and all the people were offering sacrifices in the Lord’s presence. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep and goats. In this manner the king and all the people dedicated God’s temple. The priests and the Levites were standing at their stations. The Levites had the musical instruments of the Lord, which King David had made to give thanks to the Lord—“for his faithful love endures forever”—when he offered praise with them. Across from the Levites, the priests were blowing trumpets, and all the people were standing. Since the bronze altar that Solomon had made could not accommodate the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings, Solomon first consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was in front of the Lord’s temple and then offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings there.

So Solomon and all Israel with him—a very great assembly, from the entrance to Hamath[l] to the Brook of Egypt—observed the festival at that time for seven days. On the eighth day[m] they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar lasted seven days and the festival seven days. 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people home,[n] rejoicing and with happy hearts for the goodness the Lord had done for David, for Solomon, and for his people Israel.

11 So Solomon finished the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. Everything that had entered Solomon’s heart to do for the Lord’s temple and for his own palace succeeded.

The Lord’s Response

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him:

I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple of sacrifice. 13 If I shut the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on my people, 14 and my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 15 My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place. 16 And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there at all times.

17 As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and ordinances, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David: You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel.

19 However, if you turn away and abandon my statutes and my commands that I have set before you and if you go and serve other gods and bow in worship to them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from the soil that I gave them, and this temple that I have sanctified for my name I will banish from my presence; I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. 21 As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say, “Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?” 22 Then they will say, “Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and bowed in worship to them and served them. Because of this, he brought all this ruin on them.”

Psalm 134

Call to Evening Worship

A song of ascents.

Now bless the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord
who stand in the Lord’s house at night!
Lift up your hands in the holy place
and bless the Lord!

May the Lord,
Maker of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.

Psalm 136

God’s Love Is Eternal

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.
He alone does great wonders.
His faithful love endures forever.
He made the heavens skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
He spread the land on the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
He made the great lights:
His faithful love endures forever.
the sun to rule by day,
His faithful love endures forever.
the moon and stars to rule by night.
His faithful love endures forever.
10 He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians
His faithful love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His faithful love endures forever.
12 with a strong hand and outstretched arm.
His faithful love endures forever.
13 He divided the Red Sea
His faithful love endures forever.
14 and led Israel through,
His faithful love endures forever.
15 but hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea.
His faithful love endures forever.
16 He led his people in the wilderness.
His faithful love endures forever.
17 He struck down great kings
His faithful love endures forever.
18 and slaughtered famous kings—
His faithful love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His faithful love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His faithful love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His faithful love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to Israel his servant.
His faithful love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our humiliation
His faithful love endures forever.
24 and rescued us from our foes.
His faithful love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His faithful love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven!
His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 146

The God of Compassion

My soul, praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing to my God as long as I live.

Do not trust in nobles,
in a son of man,[a] who cannot save.
When his breath[b] leaves him,
he returns to the ground;
on that day his plans die.

Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea and everything in them.
He remains faithful forever,
executing justice for the exploited
and giving food to the hungry.
The Lord frees prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord raises up those who are oppressed.[c]
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord protects resident aliens
and helps the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

10 The Lord reigns forever;
Zion, your God reigns for all generations.

Psalm 147

God Restores Jerusalem

How good it is to sing to our God,
for praise is pleasant and lovely.

The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem;
he gathers Israel’s exiled people.
He heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the number of the stars;
he gives names to all of them.
Our Lord is great, vast in power;
his understanding is infinite.[d]
The Lord helps the oppressed
but brings the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
play the lyre to our God,
who covers the sky with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
and causes grass to grow on the hills.
He provides the animals with their food,
and the young ravens what they cry for.

10 He is not impressed by the strength of a horse;
he does not value the power of a warrior.[e]
11 The Lord values those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his faithful love.

12 Exalt the Lord, Jerusalem;
praise your God, Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your city gates
and blesses your children within you.
14 He endows your territory with prosperity;[f]
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.

15 He sends his command throughout the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He spreads snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes;
17 he throws his hailstones like crumbs.
Who can withstand his cold?
18 He sends his word and melts them;
he unleashes his winds,[g] and the water flows.

19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and judgments to Israel.
20 He has not done this for every nation;
they do not know his judgments.

Psalm 148

Creation’s Praise of the Lord

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his heavenly armies.
Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded, and they were created.
He set them in position forever and ever;
he gave an order that will never pass away.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
all sea monsters and ocean depths,
lightning[h] and hail, snow and cloud,
stormy wind that executes his command,
mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle,
creatures that crawl and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all judges of the earth,
12 young men as well as young women,
old and young together.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted.
His majesty covers heaven and earth.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
resulting in praise to all his faithful ones,
to the Israelites, the people close to him.

Psalm 149

Praise for God’s Triumph

Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel celebrate its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the faithful celebrate in triumphal glory;
let them shout for joy on their beds.

Let the exaltation of God be in their mouths[i]
and a double-edged sword in their hands,
inflicting vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
binding their kings with chains
and their dignitaries with iron shackles,
carrying out the judgment decreed against them.
This honor is for all his faithful people.

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord

Praise God in his sanctuary.
Praise him in his mighty expanse.
Praise him for his powerful acts;
praise him for his abundant greatness.

Praise him with the blast of a ram’s horn;
praise him with harp and lyre.
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and flute.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;
praise him with clashing cymbals.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.

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