Friday 03 June 2016

Bible Book:
1 Kings

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this temple that I have built!” (v. 27)

1 Kings 8:22-30 Friday 3 June 2016

Psalm: Psalm 95


Having completed the temple and addressed the gathered people(1Kings 8:5-21) Solomon now turns towards the altar and raiseshis arms towards heaven in order to speak to God (verse 22). Hisprayer follows a similar pattern to other times he has spoken withGod. He begins by speaking of the covenant and promises God haskept with his people and with David connected to the temple (verses23-24, cf 1 King 3:6). He then asks God to remember thepromise that he made to David connected to who would sit on thethrone (verses 25-26).

It may be that in asking God to fulfil the promise given toDavid, Solomon was already aware that some of his choices were notin line with God's way. The temple had been built as requested butthe methods used brought back memories of the slavery theIsraelites suffered in Egypt (1Kings 5:14). We also know Solomon began to worship other godsduring his life (1 Kings 11:5-6) and this was not the way of hisFather David.

Solomon's prayer is also a prayer of penitence for himself andthe people, he asks for God to show mercy (verse 28) and to forgive(verse 30) those who pray towards the temple. It is a prayer for anation and a king who will wander from the way of the Lord and intime will find themselves in exile. It is a prayer that is alsohonoured by God in later times as the likes of Nehemiah turn to Godagain and seek to restore Israel (Nehemiah 1:4-10).

In verse 27 Solomon asks a much bigger question: will God reallydwell on earth? The question here may be rhetorical. AlthoughSolomon answers it in his next breath, in the grander scheme theanswer may be different. Will God really dwell on earth? - asChristians our answer is yes, because this is what the incarnationdeclares (John 1:14) and our future hope offers (Revelation 21:3).

To Ponder

  • Does God really dwell on earth? How would you answer thequestion Solomon asks?
  • People sometimes talk about the church building as the 'houseof God'. What image does this bring to mind for you?


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