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CHAPTER 7 Oct. 16 
God Accepts the Temple
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Yahweh filled the house. 2The priests could not enter into the house of Yahweh, because the glory of Yahweh filled Yahweh’s house. 3All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of Yahweh was on the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshipped and gave thanks to Yahweh saying, For He is good; for His grace endures for ever. 4Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before Yahweh. 5King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated God’s house. 6The priests stood, according to their positions; the Levites also with instruments of music of Yahweh, which David the king had made to give thanks to Yahweh, when David praised by their ministry saying, For His grace endures forever. The priests sounded trumpets before them; and all Israel stood. 7Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court holy that was before the house of Yahweh; for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, and the meal offering, and the fat. 8So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. 9On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly; for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. 10On the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the grace that Yahweh had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel His people. 11Thus Solomon finished the house of Yahweh, and the king’s house. He successfully completed all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of Yahweh, and in his own house. 
God Responds to Solomon’s Prayer
12Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night and said to him, I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for a house of sacrifice. 13If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send plague among My people; 14if My people who 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. 15Now My eyes shall be open and My ears sensitive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually. 17As for you, if you will walk before Me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances; 18then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father saying, There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel. 19But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; 20then I will pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for My name, I will cast out of My sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, ‘Why has Yahweh done thus to this land, and to this house?’ 22They shall answer, ‘Because they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and took other gods, worshipped them, and served them. Therefore He has brought all this evil on them’.


7:1 Although God had clearly told David that He didn’t want a physical house built for Him, He made a concession to Israel’s weakness as He did in allowing them to have a human king- and worked through that concession, that lower level of spiritual life which His people had chosen. Such is His thirst for relationship with us His people. Therefore His glory filled the temple as a sign that despite Solomon’s pompous prayer of chapter 6, He was willing to accept that system of temple presence.
7:5 These huge numbers of animal sacrifices weren’t really what God was looking for; each animals represented the dedication of one person, and we cannot dedicate other people’s devotion; they must themselves offer it. The fact Solomon’s animal sacrifices were too many or too large to fit on the altar God had designed and specified the size of (:7) indicates that they weren’t what God had intended. See on 5:6.
7:11 The house of Yahweh, and in his own house- Twice in this verse and often elsewhere we see God’s house paralleled with Solomon’s house. His dedication to God’s house wasn’t total and undivided.
7:12 2 God accepted the temple only as a place of sacrifice, i.e. a glorified altar (cp. 2 Sam. 24:17,18). And yet- God didn't really want sacrifice (Ps. 40:6; Heb. 10:5). It was a concession to weakness.
7:14 Solomon in his prayer had said that if Israel sinned and then prayed toward the temple, God would then forgive them. But God corrects this; He wants sinners to pray directly to Him, and He will forgive them- the temple was not to be seen as the instrument or mediatrix of forgiveness which Solomon envisaged. Likewise, Solomon’s implication that prayer offered in the temple would be especially acceptable was not upheld by God’s reply to him about this (6:24-26 cp. 7:12,13). Again and again we see that God thirsts for direct relationship with Him, rather than via any system of priesthood or human religion, even attending meetings because that’s our social club and family background. Solomon says that God will hear the prayers of His people because the temple is called by God’s Name; but God’s response is that “My people who are called by My name” would pray to Him themselves and be heard, quite apart from the temple (6:33 cp. 7:14). He sees them as bearing His Name rather than the temple building, as Solomon perceived it. God goes on to parallel the temple and His people in :21,22, saying that if He punishes the temple He will punish the people. Solomon seems to have thought that the temple would still stand favourably in God’s eyes even if the people were punished. The lesson is that it’s individual people rather than religious structures, of whatever sort, which God is interested in.
7:16 This is a conditional promise, followed by five verses of conditions concerning Solomon's spirituality which he overlooked. Like Solomon, we too can fix upon promises without considering their conditionality. There is good reason to think that communally and individually we so easily shut our eyes to the possibility of our spiritual failure and disaster, the sense of the future we might miss. God constantly warned Solomon about the conditionality of the promises, before the building started (2 Sam. 7:14), during it (1 Kings 6:11-13) and immediately after completing it (1 Kings 9:2-9).  
7:20 God here corrects Solomon’s idea that if Israel were dispersed, then the temple would still stand and they could pray to it from their dispersion.