“When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy
because they have sinned against you and when they turn back
and confess your name, praying and making supplication
before you in this temple, then hear from heaven
and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them
back to the land you gave to them and their fathers.
2 Chronicles 6:24-26 (NIV)
Solomon built the temple and prayed a dedication prayer over it. He stood on a platform in the center of the outer court and prayed. He commended God for keeping His promise to David to allow a permanent home be built for the arc of the covenant. Solomon also requested God to keep the promise of always having a descendant of David sit on the throne of Israel.(see 2 Chronicles 6:12-16)
Solomon continued to pray, renewing a covenant between God and the nation Israel. In this prayer, he asks God to hear the nation’s prayers after they have confessed His name, turned back to Him, and repented of their sins.
Why is this important to Solomon? He knew the nation and its people will sin and fall away from God. Are we like the people Israel? Yes, we are. We as a nation need to confess our sin to God, repent of our ways, and seek His forgiveness.
In our 21st Century world, we are not unlike the people of Israel. We fall short of God’s expectations of us and we sometimes don’t care. We have “more important” things to do than sit or kneel and tell someone we can’t see that we had done wrong. We might choose not to because we don’t really believe we have. We find other false gods to spend time with.
The sad thing about how we, as a society spend our lives is that, one day soon, our nation will have to answer for what we have done. We need to be ready.