Golden Pillar Class Study, teacher Leslie Crain.
God told Solomon that he had chosen that Solomon would build the temple for him.
II Chronicles 7:12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
It brings peace when we pray to God because there are pestilences or troubles that come against us – when things seem futile or our efforts fail or we’re plagued by pain, illness, or even by aging. God’s faithfulness means his plans are accomplished and don’t fail. People have the same feelings and struggles in all ages. God will answer when we humbly pray to him – expressing or offering in a spirit of submission. As David prayed, Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” We may think, Well I’m not wicked. Wicked is defined as causing or likely to cause harm, distress, or trouble. Our thoughts can lead us astray to try to get us to do wicked things according to God’s thinking. God told Solomon if he would seek God’s face, he would help Solomon. We are God’s sanctuary and temple, a place God has chosen and where we can ask God for help, answers, and strength. His eyes are attentive to our prayers. David answered when God said to seek his face.
Psalm 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.
Clarke’s Commentary gives this translation from the original: “Unto thee, my heart, he hath said, Seek ye my face. Thy face, O Jehovah, I will seek. O my heart, God hath commanded thee to seek his face.”
Many times as parents, we told our children, Look at me. We wanted to get their attention. They may have looked at us but still not have their attention on what we were saying. We can be the same way as Christians and not really be paying attention to God. At the COVE center, it is very hard to get the children’s attention or know that we have their attention and they’re listening. In their culture it is considered impolite to look someone directly in the eyes. As they get used to American culture, they’re slowly changing. The children are not shy about trying to get Miss Glenda’s attention. Whenever and wherever they are and want something, they will yell, “Miss Glenda, Miss Glenda.” It doesn’t matter what she is doing or even if she’s not in the room, they just start calling. If they don’t get a response, they’ll look to see why she isn’t right there to take care of their important need. They want to know they’re heard and want an answer right now. God wants us to look in his face, to have our attention, to pay attention to his words and what they mean. He wants us to hear when he’s talking to us, to not rush through when we’re reading a scripture. He wants us to crave him every day.
Psalm 50:14-15 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Psalm 91:14-15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
God allowed his people to be carried away to Babylon. He had a plan for them. He sees the whole picture and how the pieces have to fit together. God fits our individual plans together with others to create a beautiful tapestry.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the captives who were carried away to Babylon about God’s plan for them.
Jeremiah 29:1-3 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue …which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) By…Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar…
God allowed them to be carried to Babylon. God had a plan even when he created rats, cockroaches, and other creepy crawlies. God wanted the captives in Babylon to live a normal life and pray for the peace of the city. It was God’s plan and he wanted it to work for their good. He didn’t want them to focus on how soon they would get out of that place. That would keep them unsettled. If our focus is on our trials, it will lead us away from God’s peace to despair where the enemy can take advantage. We don’t have to let our trials roll over us because God is greater!
Jeremiah 29:4 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;
God determined that we need trials and allowed them. The people couldn’t help weeping when they remembered Jerusalem but God didn’t want them to be sorrowful. Don’t let your weeping hinder your sowing or doing the will of God. God will give you strength to do what he wants you to do.
Jeremiah 29:5-7 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.
God warned those in Babylon to not get involved with the false gods and ways that were there. We have to be careful to not be involved with false ways. The enemy wants us to listen to self pity and be comparing ourselves to others. He also wants us to focus on “why” something is happening when we may never know the answers to all of our questions. God didn’t promise answers but he promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Jeremiah 29:8-9 For thus saith the Lord…the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams…For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them…
God’s plans for them were of well being and peace with him. God took care of them and gave them peace, even in Babylon.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you…and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you…I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
We’re going to have trials in life but one day we’ll lie down and God will receive us. He prepared a place of rejoicing with our Father. Christ’s teachings were to bring peace. The disciples were like us before we met Jesus, with no hope or peace.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Matthew Henry Concordance paraphrased John 16:33 “These things have I spoken, that in me you might have peace; and if you have it not in me you will not have it at all, for in the world you shall have tribulation; you must expect no other, and yet may cheer up yourselves, for I have overcome the world.”
Jesus made his will when he was going to die. His soul he committed to his Father; his body he bequeathed to Joseph to be decently buried; his clothes went to the soldiers; his mother he left to the care of John. But what should he leave to his disciples, who had left all for him? Silver and gold he had none but he left them his peace which was infinitely better.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end, a future and a hope.
When the disciples argued, Jesus brought them peace. He is our peace and way to have peace with one another.
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Jesus purchased peace for us, even for a world of men that never knew peace. Nothing but Christ can bring peace to our lives!
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.