Solomon was born in Jerusalem to King David and Bathsheba. He is known to be the wisest man who ever lived, had great wealth, and authored the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Solomon was commissioned to build the Temple (a place for God to dwell). His father, gave specific architectural and design instructions regarding how the Temple should be built. Solomon reigned as King from 970 to 931 BC and determined to accomplish all that was put in his heart to do.
It took Solomon twenty years to build the Temple and his own house (2 Chronicles 8:1) and when the magnificent edifice was completed, he offered sacrifices to God including animals, grain, and incense. During this time:
- The ark of the covenant (a chest containing the tablets of the Ten Commandments) was placed in the Temple.
- After Solomon’s prayer, fire came down from heaven and the glory of the Lord filled the house.
- The Temple is dedicated.
- There is a time of feasting and merriment and all of Israel is rejoicing.
After this, God assured Solomon that He had heard his prayer (2 Chronicles 7:12) and responds, …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 (2 Chronicles 7:14).
What was God referring to when He said to Solomon, “I have heard your prayer.” Let’s take a few steps back and briefly review a summary of Solomon’s lengthy, yet detailed request found in 2 Chronicles 6.
6:22-23 – if someone wrongs their neighbor, and the two come before the courts, hear from heaven, condemn the guilty and vindicate the innocent (NIV).
6:24-25 – If your people be put to worse before the enemy – they have been defeated (smitten, loss the battle, crushed) by the enemy because they have sinned, hear and forgive (AMP).
6:26-27 – When the heaven is shut up and there is not rain (there is drought and barrenness leading to shortage), hear from heaven (KJV).
6:28-30 – If there be dearth in the land (scarcity or lack); pestilence (disease spreading rapidly causing many deaths); blasting (affliction); mildew (fungus); locusts or caterpillars destroy the land. Or, if our enemies surround our cities and get ready to attack. If there is sore (disaster) or sickness; hear and forgive for you know the hearts of the children (KJV).
6:32-33 – If a foreigner prays in this place (because of your great name and your mighty hand), do whatever the foreigner asks of you so that all peoples of the earth may know your name (NIV).
6:34-35 – If your people go to war and pray towards the Temple, hear their prayer and maintain their cause (KVJ).
6:36-39 – If they sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin) and repent, hear their prayer and forgive your people (NIV).
And God said “Yes.”
So often, we’ve heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 taught as a rebuke to God’s people. However, when we look at previous chapters, we see the building of the Temple, the cloud of glory that filled the Temple, and Solomon’s prayer and dedication. He tells Solomon, if these things occur (because of sin) and my people turn to Me, I will hear, forgive, and heal.
As individuals, a people, a church, and a nation, we can turn to God. He will hear and He will answer.