1 Kings 6:11-14
For Reflection: In Solomon’s prayer of dedication, God’s presence in the temple can be turned to for many functions - justice, forgiveness, guidance, meeting needs, protection, and healing. God assures His help, but the “temple will become a heap of rubble” if the people sin and turn from God. Jesus is called the temple. And our body is a temple where God dwells. Dedicate yourself as God’s temple by modifying Solomon’s prayer of dedication to apply to yourself. Listen for God’s assurance in response.
John 2:18-22; 1 Corinthians 6:19
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11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments by walking in them, then I will establish my promise with you that I made to your father David. 13 I will dwell among the Israelites and will not forsake my people Israel.”
14 So Solomon built the house and finished it.
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love with your servants who walk before you with all their heart, 24 the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. 25 Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed that you promised to your servant my father David.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! 28 Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today, 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; hear and forgive.
31 “If someone sins against a neighbor and is required to take an oath and comes and swears before your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven, and act, and judge your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing their conduct on their own heads and vindicating the righteous by rewarding them according to their righteousness.
33 “When your people Israel, having sinned against you, are defeated before an enemy but turn again to you, confess your name, pray and plead with you in this house, 34 then hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land that you gave to their ancestors.
35 “When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you and then they pray toward this place, confess your name, and turn from their sin because you punish[a] them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain on your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.
37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is plague, blight, mildew, locust, or caterpillar; if their enemy besieges them in any[b] of their cities; whatever suffering, whatever sickness there is; 38 whatever prayer, whatever plea there is from any individual or from all your people Israel, all knowing the suffering of their own hearts so that they stretch out their hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place, forgive, act, and render to all whose hearts you know—according to all their ways, for only you know the human heart— 40 so that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our ancestors.
41 “Likewise when foreigners, who are not of your people Israel, come from a distant land because of your name 42 —for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when foreigners come and pray toward this house, 43 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and do whatever the foreigners ask of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.
44 “If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea and maintain their cause.
46 “If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47 then if they come to their senses in the land to which they have been taken captive and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and have done wrong; we have acted wickedly,’ 48 if they repent with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive and pray to you toward their land that you gave to their ancestors, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49 then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, maintain their cause, 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you and all their transgressions that they have committed against you, and grant them compassion in the sight of their captors, so that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are your people and heritage that you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron smelter). 52 Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to you. 53 For you have separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, just as you promised through Moses, your servant, when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
God Appears Again to Solomon
9 When Solomon had finished building the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all that Solomon desired to build, 2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea that you made before me; I have consecrated this house that you have built and put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David, saying, ‘You shall never lack a successor on the throne of Israel.’
6 “If you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut Israel off from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a taunt among all peoples. 8 This house will become a heap of ruins;[a] everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?’ 9 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, worshiping them and serving them; therefore the Lord brought this disaster upon them.’ ”