“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. (NIV) 2 Chronicles 7:19-20
Solomon dedicates the temple. God’s shekinah glory falls from Heaven to fill the temple and all the Israelites knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, worship God and give Him thanks! The people of God responded to the presence of God when He filled the temple of God.
Somewhat later, God reappears to Solomon and confirms some significant promises (2 Chronicles 7:11-22). First, He assures Solomon that Jerusalem is the place He has chosen for His temple. God promises that His Name will be in the temple forever and that His eyes and His heart will always be there (v16). God promises that He will respond to His people’s prayers of repentance, and will forgive their sin.
“. . .if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Lastly, God reassures Solomon that He will honor His covenant with David: “I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man to rule over Israel.'” (2 Chronicles 7:18)
But, then God gives Solomon a sullen warning:
“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. And though this temple is now so imposing, all who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the LORD done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them– that is why he brought all this disaster on them.'” (2 Chronicles 7:19-22)
What is going on? Why would God indwell the temple and then destroy it? Because God’s reputation is at stake.