March 25, 2018 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, Faith
Get It Together
Devotional Reading: Isaiah 58:6-12
Highlighted Text – 2 Chronicles 7:12-22
Key Verse – “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” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV).
Transparent reflection will cause us to honestly examine our lives and note areas in need of improvement. This type of examination is one that cannot just be conducted by a medical or mental health physician. Rather, it must be guided by the Great Physician, the Holy Spirit. For it is the Spirit that will serve as our advocate and bring things back to our memory (ref. John 14:26).
You can probably recall a time in life when you gave a partial examination of your life; your thoughts, your actions and your decisions based upon your own ruler. You know those immature times in life when we would confess doing things, but also justified our behaviors. Although we knew that this Christian journey would not omit challenges and problems from occurring in our lives, we trusted the blueprint left for us to enable us to successfully maneuver through them. But the Bible only works in our lives when we properly work its principles. When we fail to adhere by the guidelines by rejecting self-humility, asking for forgiveness and sincerely repenting, then we cause a mess in our lives. God is accustomed to dealing with messy people. And He knows how to help us get it together.
2 Chronicles 7:12-16
King Solomon was chosen to build the Temple that included several construction projects. Solomon dedicated the Temple to God through prayer. In this passage, God appears to Solomon for a second time and confirms that He heard his prayer. Even as grand as the building was that Solomon built, God warned him about the danger of His people backsliding again into a disobedient state. The famous 2 Chronicles 7:14 verse is embedded in this passage that gives concrete instructions for ‘cleansing the Temple’.
1) God wants humility. God’s people must not be lofty in their hearts, rather, open to subjection to God’s voice.
2) God wants His people to seek Him. God does not merely want us to pray by speaking words into the air. But those called by Him are to get into His presence. There is a protocol for getting into the presence, the face of God. Any and everything cannot dwell in the presence of God.
3) God wants repentance. Prayer is how we communicate with God. When we offer confession in our prayers it is not effective without repenting. If we do not plan on turning from our sin and returning back to God’s way of doing things, we are being disobedient to God’s commands.
Point to Ponder: What is keeping God from healing areas in your life?
2 Chronicles 7:17-18
King Solomon had reminded God about the covenant He had with his father, King David. God let Solomon know that He had not forgotten about the promises He had made and assured Solomon that the legacy would continue through him. However, Solomon would also be expected to be faithful to God as David.
Point to Ponder: God is faithful to us as those before us; however, He also expects us to be faithful to Him.
2 Chronicles 7:19-22
God clearly informs Solomon the consequences for not following His commands. If the people of God choose to worship other gods, disobey God and forsake God then He will bring destruction on the Temple and the people. Kings before Solomon were guilty in these areas. It would be up to Solomon if he chose to walk in his father David’s steps or those kings that were not after God’s heart.
Point to Ponder: Do you take God’s warnings lightly? Why or Why not?
Today, many of God’s people go to a ‘temple’ or building to fellowship and worship God out of tradition. But if we are not following the commands and instructions that God has given then it is like we are going to a place of rubbish. Today, the temple is within God’s people. God dwells within each of us. We must focus more on making our individual temples clean and grand, rather than merely maintaining buildings. We cannot move collectively or in unity if we are not individually working on our spiritual maintenance. It’s time to get ourselves together and truly seek the face of God.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for reminding us about our messy lives and how we can bring order by being obedient to You. We confess that we have not brought adequate or proper sacrifices to You. We confess that we have strayed in areas of holiness and allowed other things to be our gods. We confess that we have filled our bodies, Your temple with thoughts, words and even substances that are not pleasing to You. We humbly ask for Your forgiveness for our sins of commission and omission. We choose to rededicate ourselves to you by turning from those things that do not please you. This means when we realize we are repeating something of old we will stop immediately and not continue doing it. Through You we are able to do so. Thank you God for keeping Your promises to us. In Jesus name, Amen.
Commentary by, Minister Shulanda Hastings