1 Kings 8
-This incredible chapter of God’s goodness and praise poured out by His people lead by King Solomon dedicates the Temple in Jerusalem in a most profound way. The Ark of the Covenant, that now housed only the two tablets of the Mosaic Law, is brought in and placed in the Holy of holies, under the wings of cherubim (1 Kings 8:1-9). There was great celebration that was contributed in an array of pageantry, which we see in other portions of Scripture, and when the people praised Jehovah God His presence filled the place with His cloud (2 Chronicles 5:12-14, 1 Kings 8:10-11).
-Solomon now addresses the people who had gathered from all over Israel, all the elders, heads of tribes, leaders of the father’s households (1 Kings 8:1). His benediction proclamation begins with the fulfillment of the LORD’s words that “He would dwell in the thick cloud (Leviticus 16:2, 1 Kings 8:12, Psalm 18:11; 97:2).” God was fulfilling His Word to His servant David now (1 Kings 8:20), and it was a time of great rejoicing and worship before the God of Israel. His earthly house had been completed for a sanctuary in honor of Him. There is no other God like Him was the refrain “in heaven above or earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness” to His servants who walk before Him with all their heart (1 Kings 8:23). Solomon makes this decree standing (later kneeling in reverence, 1 Kings 8:54) before the alter of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel with his hands spread out in worship toward Heaven (1 Kings 8:22). Solomon thanked the LORD for His goodness in keeping promises made to his father and ancestors (1 Kings 8:24-26). He acknowledged that it was impossible to contain the God of the Universe in a manmade Temple, for God indwells everything from the highest heaven to the furthest reach (1 Kings 8:27).
-Solomon goes on to give us great theological truth in the realm of prayer. He extols the LORD for having regard to the prayer (definition- an address to Deity for connection) and supplication (definition- a humble and sincere appeal to somebody who has the power to grant a request) of His servant to listen to the cry made before Him (1 Kings 8:27). Solomon goes on to instruct that God’s people, both Jewish and Gentile, should pray towards the LORD’s holy Temple in Jerusalem mindful of the Living and Everlasting God who answers a plethora of prayers for those whose hearts are right before Him in repentance, returning, righteousness, and humility (1 Kings 8:28-52). The message is simple: the inheritance is for God’s people in this great celebration, but the LORD’s kindness extends to all who call upon His great and holy Name (1 Kings 8:53, 60).
-Another great theological truth that is indicated revolves around the keeping of promises made by a perfect God (1 Kings 8:56). While He expects devotion and the keeping of His righteous commandments (which revolve around the concept of love, Matthew 22:36-40), He is faithful and steadfast to what He has said (1 Kings 8:23-26). He is the God that will never leave or forsake, and who gives rest to His people according to His promises (1 Kings 8:56-57).
-The summation of it all is this, “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD your God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day (1 Kings 8:61).” There was great festival in the offerings given in abundance as the house of the LORD was dedicated. In the end, when the celebration was completed, the children of Israel went back to their tents “joyful and glad of heart” for they had experienced the goodness of the Lord’s favor and blessing (1 Kings 8:62-66).
-*Application* The adoration of our Great God and King should strike us exuberantly from the study of this passage. How could we not worship the LORD with all our being knowing that now, through the New Covenant, we can have this same presence IN us through the Holy Spirit of the Living God every moment of every day. His sacrifice on the cross has been made so that we can walk in the faithfulness of His everlasting promises for spiritual victory, blessing, favor, righteousness, and abundance of joy and gladness as we turn to Him by faith. I don’t know about you, but realizing this and what we have in Christ makes me want to shout with loud and enthusiastic praise!!!!
Verses to Memorize: 1 Kings 8:6, 11, 20, 23-27, 35-40, 42-43, 46-47, 53, 56-61