As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
~ 2 Chronicles 7:1-3
You know, we, as a people, have really bad memories. God sent down fire on the sacrifices prepared for Him at the opening of the new temple in Jerusalem that Solomon had built according to the promise to his father David. Then God’s glory filled the temple for all to see, so much so that no one could stand to be inside the temple itself. Yet in only two generations they were building idols and temples to demons in lieu of the God who was present with them. In the same way, two generations removed from WWII, we have people who know very little about Hitler or the devastation he caused in WWII, both to his neighbors and his own people, and some who even deny that it ever took place, despite the evidence to the contrary. Would the Israelites have continued to believe in the one true God if there were more evidence left for them to see? I doubt it. That’s why our faith in God is so important and why it can’t come from us. We are, by our sinful nature, always discontented with what we have and are looking for something better, more interesting, or some other way to get more of something else.
Our faith in Jesus as the once and final sacrificial atonement for our sins is not only the means of our salvation, but it is our assurance as we would as soon walk away from that as an ostrich would crush its own eggs for lack of care. We as a people are self-centered, self-driven, and self-absorbed, even to our own damnation. Given that understanding, I’m glad that our God is more dedicated to us and our salvation than we are even to ourselves and I thank Him for that everytime I stop to consider it.
You know, when I’m not so focused on my own problems or desires that I forget to look up to the God who was whipped, beaten, shamed, and murdered on my behalf.