Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

The Blessing Of King Solomon (2 Chronicles 6:1-11)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's turn to second chronicles, chapter six. Please remain standing if you're able and will here together God's word. Second Chronicles, Chapter Six, verses one through eleven. Second Chronicles six, verses one through eleven. Then Solomon said, the Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness, but I have built you an Exalted House, a place for you to dwell in forever. Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood, and he said, blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who, with his hand, has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David, by of David my father saying, since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man as prince over my people Israel. But I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David to bill what David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to David my father, whereas it was your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, it is not you who shall build the house, but your son, who shall be born to you, shall build a house for my name. Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made, for I have risen in the place of David my father and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, and there I have set the arc in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel. You may be seated well here in these verses, Solomon is gearing up for one of the most significant and important prayers we have in all of scripture, a long prayer, a beautiful prayer, a prayer which is a great model to follow, a prayer which has so much good content for us to learn and to meditate on. Tonight, however, I want to focus on the thing that happens just before that prayer. It's kind of a prayer. You could perhaps categories categorize it in that way, but all use the words the scripture uses here, and that's blessing. HMM. Solomon stands, turns around and blesses all the assembly of Israel and as he does so, he recounts what we've heard many times throughout first and second chronicles, this thing that Israel wanted, that David wanted a king and a place. They wanted the Lord God to dwell with them, and this was in David's heart and David intended to do this thing, and God commends him here for that. He says that is a good thing, that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, God says, it will not be you who build the house, David, but it will be your son. God makes this covenant with with him, what we sometimes call the DIVIDIC covenant or the Covenant of David. So Solomon it is recounting all of this, but I want you to notice, and this is what I will focus on this evening, is the way that this history is recounted. It's all wrapped in a...

...blessing. He isn't just merely saying I want you to Reme, I want to remind you of what has happened. He frames it in a blessing and that's how we understand what it is Solomon says here. He makes this great confession that the things that God has promised with his mouth he has done with his hands. This, by the way, this ten dollar word, anthropomorphic language, this language which attributes sort of human characteristics to God, will occur all throughout this long prayer. Mouth, hands, other things. It's one of the ways that God is bringing to our minds this fact that he is dwelling in a very personal way with his people, Israel. So you can pay attention for those as we go along in the next several weeks. But here, as he says that that God has fulfilled with his hands what he is done with his mouth, he wraps it in a blessing. So let's consider what that is. What our blessings? What does that mean? How do they connect with God? And actually, if you notice, there's kind of a double blessing here. Pay attention to this. Notice what happens verse three and Verse Four. Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while the is assembly of Israel stood and he said blessed be the Lord. Isn't that interesting? That his blessing on and to the people begins with the phrase blessed be the Lord. Well, who are you blessing, Solomon? Are you blessing the people, or are you blessing God? You see what I mean? It's kind of a double blessing. There's a blessing wrapped inside of a blessing. So what's going on here? How is it that he's blessing his people by Blessing God? Here's the main thing. I want to communicate that blessing God for the blessings he gives is itself a blessing to others. So I'll say that again. Blessing God for the blessings he gives is itself a blessing to others. Well, let's start with just a simple definition, a simple definition of what it does it mean to bless, and we'll go through a little bit of scripture. To bless simply means to bestow a good, to give a good. There as three different ways we see this in scripture. There's God blessing man, a man blessing God, and then man blessing man, men blessing each other. So here's three verses to highlight this. First one. How does God bless man? And in these each of these you will see how God bestows good. So Genesis thirty five, the Lord has greatly blessed my master and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys. You see what this servant says. He is Blake, greatly blessed my master, of all these good things have been given to him. Here's another one job for two twelve, and the Lord blessed the latter days of job more than his beginning. And he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of Oxen and a thousand female donkeys. God bestowed good on job or psalm forty five to you...

...are the most handsome of the sons of men. Grace is poured upon your lips. Therefore, God has blessed you forever. So these are examples of God blessing man, and there are hundreds of them. But there are many, many, I'm in which we see this word being used in this way. What about examples where man blesses God? Psalm one hundred three, verse one blessed the Lord, Oh my soul and all that is within me, bless his holy name, bless the Lord, Oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits. That word benefits. You could probably translate blessings bless the Lord, forget not his blessings. There's a relationship there, you see, between what God gives and how we respond. Psalm one hundred forty five one. I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. And one more from revelation thirteen and fourteen. John says, and I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the Earth and in the sea and all that is in them saying to him who sits on the throne, into the lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever. And the four living creatures said Amen, and the elders fell down and worshiped. Blessing is a bestole of good, but there is a difference between the way God bestows blessings on us and the way we bless God. Maybe, if you think about it, you even feel a little bit uncomfortable saying that we bless God or that we should bless God. This is one of those things that might be a little hard to wrap your head around, but here's the truth of it. In both cases, when man and his blessing God and when God is blessing man, a good is being bestowed, like revelation hundred thirteen, to God belongs blessing, honor, glory, might for and might forever and ever. The difference, however, is that this good is not something that God needs. He's not dependent on that in the way that we are dependent on him. When we are blessed, we receive life, we receive goodness, we receive everything from God. There's nothing that we don't receive that isn't from him, and this is something we need. God, however, does not have life from us. He doesn't have might or honor or power from us. He's not dependent on us for these things, and yet we give them to him. Why? Well, not because he needs them, not because we need to provide for him somehow, but because of worship. Right, that's what's going on there. We we give these things to God. So, for example, we have offering. Paul talks about. This is a worship. We collect money together to give it to God. Is it because God needs our money? Is He dependent on it? Is he going to go broke or not be able to pay the bills? Of course not, even do whatever he wants, but we give it to him as an act of worship, as an act of praise, and amazingly, he uses these things, he uses this praise to bless himself and or not to bless himself, rather to bless us. It's there's this kind of cycle that we begin to see in that God blesses us, we receive these benefits, we turn around and bless him, which glorifies him, which in turn blesses us, which is a benefit, and so we praise him and bless him, and so he blesses us. And it...

...goes back and forth, not as equals, not as people, sort of two friends patting each other on the back, but as a create a creator giving to his creatures and his creatures responding in praise. And when we respond in play, it praise. That is a good thing, it is a blessing, something that we give to God. So God blesses man, man blesses God and of course we bless each other. This in God's strength, because nothing good comes to us except through God. Even when he uses a friend to bring it to us. So what are some examples of US blessing each other in God's strength? Well, one's right here in our text, second chronicles six, verse two, when Solomon as king turns to his people in the name of the Lord and blesses them. This kind of official blessing is what we receive at the end of our worship services and at the beginning of our worship services, when God greets us in the salutation and sends us off in the Benediction. This was true of the Levites as well, and Deuteronomy ten eight, we read that at that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the covenant of the Lord and to stand before the Lord to Minister to him and to bless his name. What a great job God gave Levi, the tribe of Levi, the job of blessing his name. It's a it's a job we all share in now as a kingdom of priests. But here's another win which we bless each other, not necessarily in this official capacity, but in our everyday lives. I'm first Peter Chapter Three. I believe he says in Verse Nine, Do Not Repay Evil for evil or reviling from reviling, but, on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing from that wonderful you bestow a good, that you may obtain a good. And then he describes the what it means to bless and verses ten through twelve. For whoever desires to love his life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. So this is how we bless one another. We love one another, we do good, we seek peace, we speak rightly, we turn away from evil, we pursue a good things, we pursue peace. So you get the idea. These are the different ways that scripture talks about blessing man, blessing God, God blessing man, and men blessing each other one another. I'm through God God using us to bless us one to another. Now, from all of this it should be very clear that blessing comes to us from God. We got a sense from this already in Matthew, when we read Matthew Seven. Where do we get the good things that we ask for from God? James says this to every good and perfect gift comes from our father, and Solomon says that here as well. By recounting this history, he's saying that everything that has happened up to this point has happened because God has done it. These things aren't automatic. Kings don't come to power a mass, vast quantities of wealth and loyalty among their subjects and peace among the...

...nations. They aren't able to receive these great promises about a son and a temple and all the rest, except from God. God says this about kings in particular because we're so prone to see those who are the strongest as having a kind of self contained power. But not so, God says it's the same with kings as it is with animals wandering around in the fields. All are dependent on God, and Solomon gets that. He doesn't stand like Nebuchadnezzar does, up on his balcony and say, look at all these great things that I've done I built a house and sure enough, God came down and dwelt in it. Check it out. No, he stands there and he blesses God. Right, he bends himself, he bows himself before the Lord Almighty and he gives praise to God. You have done these things, you have spoken them, you have accomplished them. Verse Ten. Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made, for I have risen in the place of David, my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and I've built the house for the name of the Lord. All of this has happened, he says in Verse Eleven, because of the Covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel. And this isn't just the dividict covenant. This goes all the way back to Egypt, he says, all the way back to when God brought them out of Egypt and promised to establish them in the promised land in Canaan. And even that promise goes all the way back to Abraham, when he called Abraham out of Er and set and and promised to a bless him with a great people and a land to dwell in. And that promise goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, when God promised to Adam and Eve that a son would come that would bring all things together and make all things right. The providences of God depend on the promises of God. That's how we come into contact with them, anyway. That's the bedrock on which we are depending. We don't wait for God's providences to work out and then say, well, okay, maybe I'm seeing this. We trust in the words that he's given us, the promises that he's given us, one because he said them, and too, because he keeps fulfilling them again and again and again, and, as we know, it is his character never to lie. So my point is simply this. It should be clear from all of this, from the scripture, from our experience, from second chronicle six, that blessing in our lives come from God. Now making such a big deal about this because we are prone to forget it, and I think in two different ways. First, we're prone to forget the existence of blessing at all and second, we're prone to forget the gracious character of blessing regarding its existence. How often have you caught yourself being forgetful about being thankful or having such a hard time seeing how could there be even any blessing in this? My life is a ruin, everything is over, everything is wrong and terrible. Now, of course that sounds like an exaggeration. You know who would say that? You know we're all sitting here and controlling ourselves and not embarrassing ourselves, but we've all had these experiences where we've all said these things, frustrated, angry, terrified, anxious, unable to see the blessing in a situation. And yet...

...it's there. Are Even in the bad times. We won't even talk about forgetting the blessings in the good times, but just the even the bad times. This is true. There's a story about Matthew Henry. I'm perhaps you've heard about his Bible commentaries. They're really good, by the way. There's six volumes of them and goes through the whole bibles all sorts of wonderful things to say. There's a time when Matthew Henry Henry, was robbed and he wrote this in his diary. Let me be thankful. First, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet, they did not take my life. Third, because, although they took my all. It wasn't much and forth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed. This is a thankful man, right. This is a thankful man. He doesn't tell us this, but my guess is is that Matthew Henry took some time to write this in his diary as an exercise in thankfulness. Now I also think Matthew Henry was a holy enough man that he probably thought these things on the spur of the moment, without much exercise either. But I also know that those who are holy, those who are thankful, our practice in it. They work at this. There are other people who do the opposite. They work at discontentment, they work at being frustrated, they work at seeing the wrong and all the right places. But we are called to look for our blessings, to see the good things that God has done, and we are prone to forget them. And then, even when we see them, we forget the graciousness of them. We might be thankful or recognize my life is pretty good, there's pretty decent, but how often do we remember that we do not deserve these things, that they're given to us from God himself? Solomon didn't deserve the Lord, God dwelling with him, supporting him, helping him in his rule. Indeed, in many ways he would come to undeserve this in his life. He would. There were ways in which we see in his life that he wasn't the king he ought to be, and yet God stayed with him, dwelled with him, helped him to rule. And when you think about all the blessings that God gives you, the blessings that you don't deserve and that I don't deserve, let us not forget the most important one of all, that while we were ungodly. Paul says in Romans Five, Christ died for us, while we were still sinners. Christ died for the ungodly. We don't deserve it. The best and most important things that God gives to us he gives to us even while we are still sinners. So, in considering these things and kind of pulling us back to our main point, let me ask you a question. Is it not true, then, that reminders of the blessings that we have are a blessing itself, or that, I'll put it in the singular, that the reminder of the blessings we have is a blessing itself? Have you not just experienced this? Have you not just even now, been blessed by being reminded of the goodness of the Lord to you and to me and to all of us together, while we were yet sinners? And maybe you experience this in other places. Maybe you've experienced a time when somebody helped...

...you to remember the blessings that you have, or even the Holy Spirit himself testifying into you that you are an adopted child of God. You thought everything was bad, that you had nothing, you were discontent, you couldn't be happy, and then somebody comes and pops that bubble and instead of being deflating, it's a release. There's a way in which uncon discontentment and ungratefulness kind of wraps us up, you know. It binds us like Jonah being pulled down into the depths of the sea by all the seaweed and whatnot. Discontentment does that. It makes us unhappy, it makes us frustrated and anxious. Somebody comes and pops that bubble and reminds us of the blessings that we have in the Lord. Well, that's good. We feel good, we feel healthy, we feel released, and I think this is especially true when that reminder comes in the action of blessing God himself. That's what Solomon does here and that's why I put it in this way. In in other words, this is what Solomon does instead of just going to his people and saying, brothers and sisters, Israel of God, look at what the Lord has done. And that would be wonderful right. That would be a real blessing to be reminded of those things. But Solomon, instead of just talking about blessing, jumps right to the praise itself. He blesses by blessing God. He blesses his people by Blessing, say, the Lord. It's a blessing wrapped in a blessing. And you know what, this is what we do together every Sunday when we gather together and we celebrate the Lord who dwells with us in Christ we who are the Temple of God and whom the spirit dwells. We come together each Lord's Day and we consider God's promises fulfilled to us. I stand here like a Solomon reminding you, telling you of the good things that God has done. He has promised them with his mouth and he has done them with his hands. And then in we do this not just in speaking about these things, but in actual praise to God. There's a way in which we praise God, we bless his name, and in doing so we not only bestow a good on God, but is it not true that we also bestow a good on one another? There's this kind of one another ring that happens even as we are all simultaneously directed at God. This is the great spiritual unity that we have one another, with one another in the spirit and in the Lord Jesus. In worshiping God, in blessing him, we find that we ourselves are blessed, and so this is why I say, and I said at the beginning, blessing God for the blessings he gives is itself a blessing for others. We have an example of this in second chronicle six, and it's a good reminder to us. It's a good reminder to us not only of what we do, but it's a good reminder to us of how the Lord Works. So I'll just finish with this. When I say blessing God for the blessings he gives is itself a blessing to others, we can say that all of that itself is, of course, a blessing of God, and around and around and around it goes. That's why...

Jesus talks about the life that we enter to into is a blessed life. It's a life that itself is categorized in this way. It's not as though we just have this basket of blessings, even a whole room or a storehouse of blessings, but in Jesus Christ, our life itself is blessed, all of it, every part of it, from the Lord. So how do we respond? I'll let you guess. Let's pray.

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