Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting,” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).
Something absolutely beyond words, something unable to be captured by human speech occurred following Solomon’s prayer of dedication. Fire comes down from heaven. The sacrifices on the altar are instantaneously devoured. And God’s glory so fills the temple so that no one could enter. His holiness personified. And the only thing all the people can do is to bow down in worship and praise.
And I confess, I was dumbfounded by their praise. I don’t know. Couldn’t help but wonder what praise might sound like if this happened today. Would there be praise because we saw the fire with our eyes? Would our praise center around our sacrifices that must have been acceptable, receiving His stamp of miraculous approval? Would we try to muscle our way to stay put, thinking somehow our offerings had earned us the right to be in the place to see His Glory? Like I said, I don’t know.
But what I do know is how the people, who were actually there, responded.
Undone, they bowed in the presence of such a magnificently Holy and Mighty God, with their faces to the ground; for none felt worthy to even attempt a glimpse. They worshipped Him, in recognition of His Holiness they ascribed to Him the Worth that He alone deserves. And praise began to flow.
This event, this visible display of His Presence on earth is often referred to as His Shekinah Glory.
“Shekinah Glory is a visible manifestation of God on earth, whose presence is portrayed through a natural occurrence. The word shekinah is a Hebrew name meaning “dwelling” or “one who dwells.” Shekinah Glory means “He caused to dwell,” referring to the divine presence of God. The word Shekinah is not in the Bible, but the description is… (Exodus 3:2; 13:21-22; 19:16-18; 24:16-18; 40:34-38; 1 Kings 6:13; 8:10-13; 2 Chronicles 7:1; Zechariah 2:5),” Christianity.com.
All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting,” (2 Chronicles 7:3).
The Israelites experienced His Glory, and their response focused, not on the miraculous manifestation, but on His Goodness and Love.
Consider the Glory of His Goodness and Love
Today’s chapter just seems like and invitation to do some digging into the Hebrew meaning of Glory, Goodness and Love. Like I said, I don’t know; but it seems as though seeing His Glory is akin to seeing His Goodness and Love.
All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord …gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting,” (2 Chronicles 7:3).
Glory: 3519. כָּבוֹד kāḇôḏ, כָּבֹד kāḇōḏ: A masculine singular noun meaning honor, glory, majesty, wealth, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
When the writer says God’s Glory filled the house, somehow it was a manifestation of His honor, glory, majesty and wealth that filled the temple.
So, today as we consider His Goodness and Love, we will do so in light of His Glory: Honor (high esteem), Glory (magnificence), Majesty (royal power) and Wealth (plentiful supply) of His Goodness and His Love.
Good: 2896. טוֹב ṭôḇ, טוֹבָה ṭôḇāh, טֹבָה ṭōḇāh: An adjective meaning good, well-pleasing, fruitful, morally correct, proper… The creation narrative of Genesis 1 best embodies all these various elements of meaning when the Lord declares each aspect of His handiwork to be “good,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
- The Honor (high esteem) of His GoodnessI said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You,” (Psalm 16:2).
- The Glory (magnificence) of His GoodnessThen Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you…” (Exodus 33:19).
- The Majesty (royal power) of His GoodnessOn the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness, (Psalm 145:5-7).
- The Wealth (plentiful supply) of His Goodness How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men! (Psalm 31:19).
Lovingkindness/Faithful Love 2617. חֶסֶד ḥeseḏ: A masculine noun indicating kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, love, acts of kindness,” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
- The Honor (high esteem) of His LovingkindnessHow precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings, (Psalm 36:7).
- The Glory (magnificence) of His LovingkindnessBlessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city, (Psalm 31:21).
- The Majesty (royal power) of His Lovingkindness… Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen, (Revelation 1:5-6).
- The Wealth (plentiful supply) of His LovingkindnessHow precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
8 They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
9 For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light, (Psalm 36:7-9).
- But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (Titus 3:4-6).
And perhaps one of the greatest glimpses given in Scripture of the Glory of His Goodness and Lovingkindness, of His Honor, Glory, Majesty and Wealth is revealed here, in His willingness to hear from heaven and forgive our sins. Such Goodness and Love beyond comprehension. Glory!
Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” (7:12-14).
How do we respond to the Glory of His Goodness and Love?
Perhaps what invites His Glory to begin with, is our humility. “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked way…”
And perhaps part of the manifestation of humbling oneself, is in recognizing that what is truly miraculous is His Goodness and Love extended to the likes of us. And perhaps this too invites His Glory; when we perceive His Goodness and Love as more deserving of worship and praise than the marvels of signs and wonders.
Like I said, I don’t know. Just a thought.
But today, as we meditate on the Glory of His Goodness and Love, may we be intentional to invite others to partake with us, as we worship and praise Him in sincerity and humility. For truthfully, how can we keep the Glory of His Goodness and Love to ourselves?
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:8).
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You, (Psalm 63:3).
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand, (Psalm 95:3).