Planning a trip to Jerusalem?

Today’s Readings:  1 Kings 8:54-66; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10; 1 Kings 9:1-9; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22; 1 Kings 9:10-14

One of the advantages we have had living in Europe for the last four years is that I get 6 weeks of vacation and that we have many vacation options available to me that would be much harder to take advantage of from the USA.  Just the other day my family was discussing where our next visit should be.  We have Greece on our list.  I want to go to Turkey.  Our desire to go to Syria and Egypt has dropped quite a bit recently.  But Israel is still on our list.

Temple mount by we_like_itIn an effort to think about a possible trip to Israel we watched a travel program we had taped about visiting Israel.  Looking at the historical sites, the unique sounds and cultural experiences we got really excited about the possibility of visiting Israel, and Jerusalem in particular.  The idea of walking the trails and visiting the sites that Jesus and the apostles once walked is quite exhilarating.

While watching the program the show showed the Muslim mosque that is known as the Dome of the Rock.  The documentary had older video from within the Mosque and explained its importance to Muslims.  It is place where they believe that Muhammad ascended into heaven.  It is the third most important site in the Muslim faith. 

The narrator then off-handedly mentioned that the site was also an important site for the Jews.  (period)  That is all he said.  He forgot to mention it was the site of the Temple that Solomon built.  They forgot to mention it was the site of the second temple where Jesus walked and taught.  It is the site of the cleansing of the Temple, when Jesus threw out the money changers.  It is the site where this happens in today’s reading: 

2 Chronicles 7:1 –3 NLT

1 When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. 2 The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying,

   “He is good!
      His faithful love endures forever!”

After the temple was dedicated the Lord came to speak with Solomon and to give him this warning: 

2 Chronicles 7:19 – 21  NLT

19 “But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, 20 then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them. I will reject this Temple that I have made holy to honor my name. I will make it an object of mockery and ridicule among the nations. 21 And though this Temple is impressive now, all who pass by will be appalled. They will ask, ‘Why did the Lord do such terrible things to this land and to this Temple?’

So today, if you go to Israel, to Jerusalem, to the City of David, to the site of the first and second temple, you will not see a building dedicated to the glory of God.  You will see a gold looking dome of a Muslim Mosque.  A building to a false prophet.  A building not dedicated to the true God. 

God warned that this could happen and he even gave an answer if someone to ask how it is possible that this could ever happen…

2 Chronicles 7: 22 NLT

22 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why he has brought all these disasters on them.’”

And that is exactly what happened.  Later in our readings we will see how just a couple generations after David and Solomon, men who truly sought God’s favor, the nation of Israel began to forgot about the Lord of the temple  The God that the had sung about –

   “He is good!
      His faithful love endures forever!”

It is so important for us in our walk with the Lord to be consistent and faithful and not to turn away from Him that is good and whose faithful love endures forever.  How sad it would be to have people later in life pass us by and say “He abandoned the Lord, his God, who saved him and he worshipped other gods instead, bowing down to them.  That is why God has abandoned him.”

Photo Credit:  By we_like_it

About plimtuna

I am just an average guy trying to find his way along this journey of life. I am definitely middle aged. I am definitely happily married with a wife and two children. Personally, I have a passion for things eternal. Professionally, I have a passion for things that are securely in control.
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