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The Temple Built

The Bible in Art: The Temple Built   

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Verses for Consideration: 2 Samuel 6:36-42 (The date is 966 B.C.)

36 “When they sin against you-for there is no one who does not sin-and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to a land far away or near; 37 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly’;38 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name; 39 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their pleas, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you.

40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

41 “Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place,

    you and the ark of your might.
May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation,
may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness.
42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one.
Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”

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In this prayer of dedication, Solomon prays for the people who would worship in the temple in Jerusalem. In verse 36 and following, he prays about Israel’s sin.

He speaks of their future sin as an already accomplished fact. He doesn’t say “if they sin” but “when they sin.” He asks God to forgive them when they turn back to him in repentance.

The people of Solomon’s day and those who came after him would struggle with their sinful flesh. There would be daily combat. The sinful flesh and the new man of faith would battle within them for control. The apostle Paul describes that battle in Romans: “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing” (7:18,19). Each one of us can relate to Paul’s words. We know the daily battles that occur within us.

There is only one way for Christians to deal with sin. We could deny we are sinners, but we would be lying. We could try to rationalize our sin away, but our rationalizations will not remove our sin. There is only one answer. With terrified hearts that see the damning results of sin, we can throw ourselves before God and trust in his grace and mercy. God’s good news for us is that our Savior has made payment for our sins, along with the sins of the world. God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). God has taken our sin from us and assures us that we now stand before him as his dear children. There is only one answer for sin. We can thank the Lord that we have found it.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I come before you as a sinner deserving punishment. I thank you for the wonderful Good News that comes to me through your Word. Amen.

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Title: King Solomon (1308-11)

Artist: Duccio di Buoninsegna