1 Kings 8 [parallel passage 2 Chronicles 6/7] This chapter was to impacting to just lump in with our other reading. This is a major chapter in the life of the Church and the nation Israel. The prayer of Solomon at the Dedication of the Temple is so inspiring and yet so sobering to anyone who reads it. After nearly 1000 years a promise of God to Abraham [Genesis 22] come to completeness. Think about that! Not is the days of Abraham, Isaac or Jacob; not even in the days of Moses, Joshua or Samuel – but in the days of King Solomon the Promise of a land to people as multiplied [1 Kings 4:20] as the sands of the seashore, the fulfillment of God’s Promise rings true. Oh, how the people must have longed to see the day when God’s promise was fulfilled.
The Promised Land – described to Abraham is now the “peaceful land of Israel.” Solomon didn’t do it, all that came before him accomplished the work as they followed the LORD God. The Temple was built-in such grandeur and extravagance, the whole world takes notice. On that monumental day when all the people are assembled – King Solomon, the wisest man in the world ever; articulates a Prayer of Dedication to the LORD God that rings continually in any ear that hears it. A Place for God to put His Name has been constructed. Now the Prayer of Dedication and hope that the LORD is pleases to “PUT HIS NAME” there. Over and over again Solomon pleads that God would inhabit the Place built for Him, understanding that the true dwelling place in heaven. “There is NO GOD LIKE YOU.” Solomon with as much reverence and awe, tries to capture the moment by blessing the Lord for His might attributes.
The Prayer of Dedication becomes a “supplication prayer” to the LORD to hear the praying done in the Temple. Many “IF . . . Then” statements are made by Solomon. The failure of Israel to continue walking in the statutes and ordinances of God are assumed. Solomon knows the people, He also knows his own heart. Solomon outlines various situations of when the people of God, Israel will not be obedient – He knows that God will discipline through famines, wars and such to admonish HIS PEOPLE to come back to HIM. Solomon knows the people, and even we today are like wandering sheep.
Solomon prays – LORD will you hear when Your people Pray? LORD will you forgive their sin? If he sins against You, his neighbor or himself, will you HEAR IF he Prays? When people drift off to idolatry and call on other gods; when they commit heinous immorality and when they are defeated by their enemies because of their sin against YOU – Will you HEAR their cries, confession, laments to forgive their sin against you? Over and over Solomon cites situations where Israel [and us] will fail the LORD. But there is a hope, not just in the judgment of sin, but the restoration of man from his rebellion against the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD. Solomon asks God to “maintain their cause” three times in this chapter. There is even a hint of Babylonian captivity found in the words of 1 Kings 8:46-52.
In church circles we have used the Prayer of Dedication and the answer by God as a formula to try to “call down” revival. It is interesting that through the years so many have tried to “cause revival to happen” instead of drawing close to God and let HIM SEND IT. God id answer the prayer of Solomon, but it was conditional – IF YOU 1 Kings 9:2-5; while the prayer was for the people and the place – the conditional “I will hear and forgive” was personal. “as for YOU Solomon” – you must walk. . . . . THEN I WILL.
If the people of God individually and collectively WALK away from God – 1 Kings 9:6-9 gives us the vivid description of what will happen to the Temples we have erected for our so-called worship of God. Church of today – the house lays in ruins!!!