Thursday, April 24. 2 Chronicles 6 – 8

A comparison of Chronicles and Kings reveals that the Chronicler has shortened the account of the building of the temple by about 50%. On the other hand, the Chronicler now begins to expand slightly the account of Kings here, focusing more on what the temple means than on the building itself.

Solomon begins with what looks like a contrast: God said he would dwell in a dark place, but (on the other hand) I have built a magnificent temple for him. Yet what Solomon is really doing is explaining the dark cloud that now fills the temple and has driven everyone else out. God has truly taken up residence, as can be seen by the dark cloud.

In Kings Solomon requests that his sons be as blessed by God as he has been, but only if they live like David. In Chronicles, the emphasis is not on living like David, but on keeping the law (of course, like David did, but note the mention of “the law”). Note also the references to the promises made to David. The first readers, returning from exile, would need to know God had not abandoned them nor his promise to them regarding the enduring kingdom of David.

As Solomon’s prayer comes to an end we find the most divergence from the account of Kings. The prayer ends in behalf of God’s priests, His people and the king (the anointed one) and urges God not to forget the love of David. It is this last line that is so instructive. The entire basis for the entire prayer is the love God promised to David. It has nothing to do with anything David did, only with what God has done. The entirety of the future of Israel hangs on a promise God made to one of their forefathers.

This should begin to remove us from the persistent anchor that our security with God depends on some sentimental attachment God has for us individually. God has acted out of love for all mankind, and in Jesus, God has made certain promises to those who entrust their lives to Him and live accordingly. Our hope and trust is in that love expressed so very long ago. God’s word is so secure that it does not hve to be renewed with each generation.