Rev. Dr. Lester A. McCorn
Pennsylvania Avenue A.M.E. Zion Church
Biblical Relevance: 2 Chronicles 2
2 Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 2 He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them. 3 Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre:
“Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. 4 Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
5 “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
7 “Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided.
8 “Send me also cedar, juniper and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber there. My servants will work with yours 9 to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent. 10 I will give your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.”
11 Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon:
“Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king.”
12 And Hiram added:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself.
13 “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father.
15 “Now let my lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil and wine he promised, 16 and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them as rafts by sea down to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon took a census of all the foreigners residing in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working.
Excerpts from the Lesson:
It is importance to recognize changes in our lives. Every day God sends is a new day and is not like yesterday. Every new day we are being made anew. We have the opportunity to receive transformation. Today we are discussing physical transformation. As members of the body of Christ we must take care of our bodies as good stewards. We must add and enhance. Our homes are a reflection of us. Our church is a reflection of how we feel about God. Our personal bodies are also a reflection of how we feel about caring for and taking care of our personal bodies. We all have marching orders to carry out the vision that God gave us. The big picture is bigger than us. In today's text, Solomon takes up the mantle that has been passed on by his father. It was David's vision to build the temple, but he was not the one to build it. It was his seed, his son to carry out the vision. In 2 Chronicles 1, Solomon had a chance to ask God for anything he wanted. Solomon said that all that he wanted was wisdom. Not all transformation is good - it can take you forward or backwards. Be careful how you handle transformation.
True Story: Pastor McCorn and First Lady Charlene were driving in a car behind a truck that backed them up in traffic when our First Lady Charlene was 8 months pregnant with one of the children. The truck was so big that it blocked their view of seeing what was going on ahead of them to determine why the traffic was backed up.
Sometimes we get parked behind people who cannot see us. We run the risk of losing our lives. We have to make enough noise to get the attention of the one who can save us in the present and save us in the future. In the life of the church, there are two kinds of people, either builders or wreckers.
Wreckers or Builders
I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”
And I tho’t to myself as I went my way,
Which of these two roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
— Carmelo Benvenga
God is developing some builders. There is a space that allows us to come before God without having to go through an intercessor. There is a holy God who helps us to build. We must have good attitudes about God and we must have a good heart and clean hands. Every place in the Church has been dedicated to God. Everything is sacred before God. We have to see the Church in a new light and in a new way. We are not building curators. The Church is a facility to share the things of God. Below are three (3) points to help each of us to experience a physical transformation.
1. Conceptualize the potential. See it in your mind's eye. See what it is that God is trying to show you. Pray mightily that God will give us wisdom. Solomon prayed for wisdom and for the spirit of God. Solomon was able to take on the heart of his daddy. He had a passion for the things that God is concerned about. This must be our focus as well. We must have a sense of perfection and excellence in the things of God. We must strive for excellence. We may not be there but we can still see it. We work all week long from can't see to can see. On Sundays we wear our Sunday's best with our attitude, mindset, etc. we must conceptualize our potential. This is the kind of God we serve. The vision must be bigger than us. We must ensure we are serving the same God. We must give God our best and our best effort. We can see it we can achieve it.
2. Congregate the plan. Everybody has to see and embrace the vision. It is our job to call everyone together to bring together and employ the gifts and skills of others to ensure we get the job done. We need some people to help to actualize the plan. There are people who have been taught to discern what is on the page. After we write the vision we have to make it plain. We will have to do some hard work and have the strength to carry the effort forward and see it through. We must do it to the glory of God. Let’s work together to congregate the plan. For instance, we can't lay in the bed and dream about accomplishing the plan to be more physically fit. We have to get up and go to somebody's gym, get on a track, ride a bike, run, walk, lift weights, dance, or do something to realize our vision to be more physically fit. The same is true in the Church. To congregate the Church we must have plan that we put into action to realize the vision.
3. Capitalize the product. We must make the product more valuable than it was when we This is why Jesus tells the story of the talents. This lesson can be found in your Bible in Matthew 25 and Luke 19. Wikipedia provides a good summary and shares that the story is told about “a master who puts his servants in charge of his goods while he is away on a trip. Upon his return, the master assesses the stewardship of his servants. He evaluates them according to how faithful each was in making wise investments of his goods to obtain a profit. It is clear that the master sought some profit from the servants’ oversight. A gain indicated faithfulness on the part of the servants. The master rewards his servants according to how each has handled his stewardship. He judges two servants as having been “faithful” and gives them a positive reward. To the single unfaithful servant who “played it safe,” a negative compensation is given.”
As you can see from the summation of the story, one of the master’s servants did not understand what stewardship was all about. God will multiply what we do when we are good stewards. Little becomes much when we put it in the master’s hands. God continuously fixes things for us and we owe him our best. Solomon prayed unto the lord one of the longest prayers recorded in the Bible. He thanked God and he asked for mercy on the people because of their disobedience. He asked God to have mercy. God responded to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, by saying “ 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” God showed up after Solomon prayed and begin to move in the presence of the people. Bryon Cage sings, “The presence of the lord is here. The presence of the lord is here. I feel it in the atmosphere. The presence of the lord is here. The presence of the lord is here. The spirit of the lord is here. The spirit of the lord is here. I feel it in the atmosphere. The spirit of the lord is here. The spirit of the lord, is here. The power of the lord is here. The power of the lord is here. I feel it in the atmosphere. The power of the lord is here. The power of the lord is here.”
God is here. The lord is here. He's here, he's here, he's here. When you are in God's presence you have to change. You can't go back to being the same. It happens in the temple. Amen.