2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (Part 4) – The Piercing Impact of the Question, “Who Has Not Sinned?”

Posted: July 22, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (Part 4 of 4)

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

Opening Illustration/Comments

Have you ever heard the saying, “Your letting _______(fill in the name) live rent-free in your head!”? Who is it that is living rent-free in your head? Fill in the blank in the statement above. Is there someone against whom you are holding a grudge?

There are those we all know in our lifetimes that hold grudges against other people for something that happened years ago. They are the type that once you get on their list, you stay on this list and never come off. Sometimes, it is one person who is forever your grudge. Sometimes, you have many people on the list. Sometimes, you may get on a grudge list because you know somebody on the grudge holder’s list. Sometimes, we are on somebody’s grudge list without even knowing it ourselves.

That’s what struck me this morning as I read through this passage for the final time before we move on to the next passage. It struck me where Solomon says, “Who has never sinned?” That’s where holding grudges against another person that just seems incompatible with what the Bible tells us about ourselves, much less others. My ex-wife was one of the grudge holder kind of people. Once you got on her list, you never got off. If you outright hurt her or she perceived an offense from you, you got on the list. I was number one on her list, particularly after we had our final split up in our tumultuous marriage. The remainder of her life was consumed with hating me and anyone who associated with me. If people that we knew in common were friends with me, they were no longer her friends. They were on the list too! Because of the grudgeholding and once you are on the list you never get off the list mentality, she ended up living a reclusive life by the time she was in her late 40’s because there were so many people on the list. This bitterness, I have no doubt, shortened her life to the point that she passed away five years ago at the age of 55. Are you like my ex-wife, does your hatred for someone, for any real or perceived offenses, consume your life?

The thing that Solomon’s statement struck a chord with me was that none of us can claim any moral high ground even with the worst sinner. We might not be sinning as much as someone else, but we still sin. We sin daily. And when we stand before God, even without holding grudges against someone else, we are convicted and punishable to Hell on our own merits. When we stand before God, it is not the number and frequency of sins that matters, it is the fact that we sin! Think about that! Some of us think that just because we insulate ourselves from known sinful activities that we are somehow morally superior to others, but that don’t mean jack before God. Before God, even our sinful thoughts that were never acted upon are part of the evidence against us. We will be convicted to Hell by the Righteous Judge without our Mediator, Jesus Christ. It is only when we accept Christ as our Savior through believing that He died for our sins and that He is of one and the same essence as God that we can stand before the Father in righteousness.

Even when we have a true salvation experience and accept Christ as our eternal Savior, we still sin. That’s why Christ sends the Holy Spirit to indwell in us to convict us of our sin habits. Some sins are easy to turn away from through the Spirit’s guidance. Some sins, it will take a lifetime for us to give them up to the Holy Spirit. Is holding grudges that pet sin that’s the hardest for you to give up?

Think about it. If we are to be realistic about our own human condition, we are sinners each and every day. And it is only through the grace of Jesus Christ and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit that we stand before God and not be consumed and condemned to Hell. We have been forgiven. Why, then, can we not forgive others? Should not we as Christians be the quickest ones on the planet to forgive – because we KNOW we have been forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. Who has not sinned? That is a profound statement when we think about holding grudges against others or maintaining a list of people that we will not associate with because of some real or some perceived offense. It takes too much work to maintain our grudges. Let us be true to the Savior that we worship and throw away our lists.

It is that idea of holding grudges in light of Solomon’s question, “Who has not sinned?” that I thought about this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 6:12-42. Let’s read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel, and he lifted his hands in prayer. 13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform 7 1⁄2 feet long, 7 1⁄2 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet high[a] and had placed it at the center of the Temple’s outer courtyard. He stood on the platform, and then he knelt in front of the entire community of Israel and lifted his hands toward heaven. 14 He prayed,

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven and earth. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.

16 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow my Law as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 17 Now, O Lord, God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David.

18 “But will God really live on earth among people? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! 19 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you. 20 May you watch over this Temple day and night, this place where you have said you would put your name. May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place. 21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

22 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar at this Temple, 23 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Pay back the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.

24 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn back and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave to them and to their ancestors.

26 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them, 27 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.

28 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is— 29 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles or sorrow, raising their hands toward this Temple, 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart. 31 Then they will fear you and walk in your ways as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

32 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple, 33 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.

34 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to you by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name, 35 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.

36 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to a foreign land far away or near. 37 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’ 38 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their captivity and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name— 39 then hear their prayers and their petitions from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause. Forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 “O my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to all the prayers made to you in this place.

41

“And now arise, O Lord God, and enter your resting place,

    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.

May your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation;

    may your loyal servants rejoice in your goodness.

42

O Lord God, do not reject the king you have anointed.

    Remember your unfailing love for your servant David.”.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that in his prayer, Solomon underscores the fact that God stands ready to hear His people, to forgive their sins, and to restore their relationship with Him. God is waiting and listening for our confessions or guilt over our sins and our commitment to turn away from them and to obey Him. He hears us when we pour out our needs and problems to Him and is ready to forgive us and restore us to fellowship with Him. In 6:36, Solomon says, “who has never sinned?”. The Bible is clear that no one is exempt from sin, not even God’s appointed kings such as David and Solomon. Sin is a condition that we all share and we all should acknowledge it as Solomon did. When we realize we have sinned, we should quickly as God for forgiveness and restoration. Knowing we have this sin nature that causes us to sin daily, it should keep us close to God so that we can seek His guidance and strength in overcoming our sin tendencies.

As well, realizing that we have no moral superiority over anyone else before God because of everyone’s sin nature, we should then be more sympathetic to those whose sins have affected or hurt us in some way. How can we hold grudges against another person because their sins hurt us, when, we are sinners daily ourselves? Our lack of sympathetic forgiveness to others who have hurt us then rises to the sin of pride just as much as what they did to hurt us was a sin.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is the idea of “blessed are the peacemakers” that I will be preaching about this coming Sunday. Holding grudges is not about making peace. Holding grudges is about being in a state of war all the time with the thought of what a person did to you – real or perceived. Peacemakers are those that make peace. To make means that we take action. We take action to make peace. If there is someone against whom you have a conflict we must (1) realize that we are sinners ourselves and (2) we are called by Christ to MAKE peace. We are to lose our pride about our self-defined moral high ground and realize that we are just a sinner ourselves capable of making huge blunders and commit daily sins of varying magnitudes of ripples on daily basis. And, then, Christ calls us then to make peace. That means we seek to reconcile, truly reconcile, with those who have hurt us – in both real and perceived ways. Peacemakers go after peace. They seek to end wars between themselves and others. Jesus never said, “Blessed are the grudge holders!” He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers!” That means that we make the first step to achieve peace, even when our pride tells us that the other person must seek forgiveness from us. Half the time, people do not even know they have hurt you. Thus, peacemakers take action. They go after peace, not wait for it.

The place we start is asking what Solomon asked, “Who has not sinned?”. That’s where we must start. Because that question pierces our balloon of pride. That’s where we must start to become a peacemaker.

Amen and Amen.

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