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.” (2CH 7:1-3 ESV)
This must have been a memorable sight, an undeniable tangible piece of evidence as to the power and presence of God. It also puts God’s people in the position to be the witnesses to God before the world, and to show the world how God calls us to live.
This scene is reminiscent of the scene in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit fell as fire upon the disciples, giving another piece of undeniable evidence of God’s presence and validation of those upon whom the Spirit fell. Even the application is similar. God says to Solomon, “if 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Compare this to Peter’s message, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
We can see in Peter’s words a powerful promise, and in the Old Testament scene a powerful picture of the power of the God behind the promise.