As Solomon closes his prayer, the power of God in the form of fire comes down from Heaven and consumes the sacrifices in the temple. In fact the presence of the Lord is so overwhelming that the priests can’t even enter the temple at all. The Israelites are gathered around the temple by the thousands and as they witness this display, they bow themselves to the ground and worship God.
Everything seems to be perfect as tens of thousands of additional sacrifices are made over the next seven days. There is great unity in the kingdom as the people return to their homes hopeful and praising God.
Yet it is in the midst of this time of optimism and unity that the Lord issues a warning. He explains to Solomon in a dream that He wants to bless the kingdom for their obedience, but conversely He will allow evil to befall them for disobedience. In fact their is a very famous verse from this dream that most of us have seen. 2 Chronicles 7:14
“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.”
Why does God issue this promise/warning in the midst of this time of unity and victory? It’s because He knows human nature. The Lord understands that when things are going well, we get comfortable and when we get comfortable, we get lazy. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives and it’s called complacency. Becoming complacent is dangerous, because it causes us to lower our defenses and replace vigilance with confidence. It’s at this time, that even the strongest of us can fall.
What the Lord was warning Solomon and us about is taking our eyes off of Him. Our attention is so easily drawn away from what’s good for us, because sin comes so naturally. Thousands of years later we see the same warning in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Satan is just looking for an opportunity to bring us down, but if we don’t become complacent and cling to the Lord, we have nothing to fear. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Falling prey to our fleshly nature is certainly easy, but it does not need to be inevitable. We can have a life of victory in Christ if we always put Him first!
2 Chronicles 7