I was asked this afternoon to lead the Bible Study tonight. Here are the "bare bones" of my notes.
Our Scripture tonight deals with our foundations as a nation (the United States), a church (in the United States and Antioch) and individually. Our response to God's expectations for us will result in receiving His promise or falling into the wrath He warns us about.
FOUNDATION OF FAITH
11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the Lord and in his own house he successfully accomplished. 12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.
When the nation is dedicated to the Lord, when the church is dedicated to the Lord, when the Christian is dedicated to the Lord- the communion is sweet and intimate. The United States was built on such a foundation. We have gone astray. The church in the USA was built on such a foundation- are we going astray? Are we salt and light? (ponder)
13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Verse 14: Key Verse- the action of a faithful people is what God expects of us. If bad things happen, we need to react in a godly way. IF- God's people 1- HUMBLE THEMSELVES (not look to ourselves: 9-11 we threw money at the problem, no national revival) 2- PRAY 3- SEEK GOD'S FACE (not His hands- seek Him, not what He can do for you) 4- TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS (Repent! do not sacrifice to God and remain in sin- God hates that; see Isaiah 58 as an example) THEN- He will 1- HEAR 2- FORGIVE 3- HEAL. God is the answer to our problems. He alone is faithful. JESUS É FIEL!!!!
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
For Israel, obedience and faithfulness to God was rewarded by the attention of God and the stability of a king in a line of kings appointed and blessed by God. For the United States, national faithfulness brought blessing from God and political stability for over 200 years. Is it unraveling? For the Church, faithfulness means intimacy with God and that He is our King forever.
19 “But if youturn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will pluck youup from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
But when Israel, the United States or the "church" is not faithful, ruin and separation from God. Has our nation been faithful to God? Have we kept God's command to His people? Have we personally sought God faithfully, shared our faith with the unbelievers around us or turned from our sin?
Our nation and the church have both been built on a foundation of faith. Our nation is abandoning that foundation. We must be faithful, as those who are called by His name- CHRISTians- and humble ourselves, pray, seek after God and turn from our wicked ways. It is our call and our duty.