The Dedication of the Temple
Open Your Bible
2 Chronicles 6:1-42, 2 Chronicles 7:1-22, John 1:14
BY Seana Scott
Sometimes my children ask me questions when my brain is in some other hemisphere—like deadlines, laundry piles, and remembering to order school lunches. “Can we go to the park later?” “Can we eat ice cream for dinner?” “Can we fly to the moon?” Okay, no moon-flying over here—but it doesn’t matter what they ask me; when I reply with a half-listening “Yes,” they expect whatever I promised. However, I often completely forget.
But God never forgets His promises (2Chronicles 6:10,15–16). The writer of Chronicles reminded the returning-from-exile Judeans that even though they didn’t hold up their end of the covenant relationship with God, the Holy One of Israel never skipped town.
This account reveals the details of God’s continuation of the Davidic covenant by Solomon, David’s son, completing the building of the temple of the Lord. I imagine the people listening to this story could almost smell the twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred thousand sheep and goats being offered to Yahweh (2Chronicles 7:5). They could almost hear the blowing trumpets and envision the glory of the Lord consuming the sacrifices with fire from heaven, and His glory filling the temple (v.1).
I appreciate the details of this record of Israel’s history because they needed to remember their origin story as they started a new chapter back in the land. The returning, humbled people needed to recount who God was and who they were so they could move forward as God’s people.
Sometimes we might need to re-enter the story of God too. We easily forget our faith origin in the gospel of Jesus Christ and start putting faith in other things. We put our faith in hustling for the promotion, curating a Pinterest-worthy home, or building our name as a brand on social media. But all these lesser faiths and stories start to lure us away from the one, big, eternal story of God—and of our Savior, who is full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
Maybe this is one of the reasons the writer of Chronicles thought it necessary to include God’s promise to Solomon after the dedication: If Israel turns from God again (which they do), but then turns back to God, He would hear their prayer, forgive their sin, and bless the land (2Chronicles 7:14).
This is the story I need to return to over and over again—especially when I mess up. This is the gospel of grace, right here in the pages of Chronicles. Is there something in your life distancing you from God? Are you feeling like you’re in a season of exile? If we turn from our sin, seek His face, and ask for forgiveness, we once again find our home in God’s story (1John 1:9)—because God keeps His promises.