The text we’re studying for Sunday, March 25 is 2 Chronicles 7:12-22. Here are some questions it might or might not be helpful to consider in class:
God (YHWH) appears to Solomon at night – possibly in a dream or “vision of the night.” What would be our response to an appearance from God? Why?
God announces to Solomon that God has “heard” Solomon’s prayer, and promises to hear prayers made in the Temple in future. Why does God make this announcement, do we think? What is the effect of the announcement, do we think? Why? Does this imply that God always hears prayers, or that God’s hearing is conditional? If so, on what? What in the text gives us this impression, and why?
In v13, God names natural disasters that Solomon mentioned in his prayer earlier in the day (see 2 Chronicles 6:26-28), identifying them as acts of God. What is our reaction to this part of God’s speech? Why? What does it imply about God?
In v14, God lays out a sequence of actions the people of Israel can take to procure God’s forgiveness and healing. Why this particular sequence of actions, do we think? Does this tell us anything about the relationship of human behavior to God’s behavior? What? How does this apply to people today, do we think? Why do we think that?
In v14 God offers possible forgiveness and healing for the people and the land; in v20 God promises fairly permanent calamity. What is the relationship between these two parts of the text? (For instance, does what happens in v14 come before what happens in vv19-22? Or does what happens in v14 concern different behavior on the part of the people than what happens in v19? Or …?) What explains the difference between what God promises to do in v14 and in v20? How do our answers here depend on our understanding of God? How do they influence that understanding? Why?
In v20, God refers to God’s bringing the Israelites’ ancestors out of Egypt. Why, do we think? What does this reference tell us about the God who is speaking to Solomon? What does it imply about the people’s behavior? What does it have to do with readers today?