READING: 1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: These chapters are the story of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple. So great was the event that God’s glory filled the structure, and the priests could no longer minister there (1 Kgs. 8:10-11, 2 Chron. 5:13-14).
Solomon’s prayer of dedication at the Temple echoes with prayer itself – in particular, the prayers of the repentant:
1 Kgs. 8:30 Hear the petition of Your servant and Your people Israel, which they pray toward this place. May You hear in Your dwelling place in heaven. May You hear and forgive.
Solomon prays that God will hear when the people pray after being defeated by an enemy because of their sin (1 Kgs. 8:33-34), after enduring drought and famine because of their sin (8:35-40), and after being captured by oppressors because of their sin (8:46-50).
Their prayer, however, was to be accompanied by repentance. The people were to “return to you and praise your name” (8:33), “turn from their sins” (8:35), “come to their senses” (8:47), and “return to you with their whole mind and heart” (8:48).
Solomon, in fact, called his people with these words: “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God to walk in His statutes and to keep His commands, as it is today” (8:61). May we walk this way – and turn quickly and fully to Him when we don’t.
PRAYER: Pray that all of us will confess our sin and run to God when we fail. We serve a gracious God who is willing to receive us and restore us.
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Chronicles 6-7; Psalm 136