Solomon’s Prayer (04-09-21)
When Solomon had finished building the temple, he assembled the people to dedicate it to God.
Bible Reading:2 Chronicles 6:10,18-20, 7:1,3
Solomon said, "The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lordpromised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But will God really dwell on earth with humans? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet, Lord my God, give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.
When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, "He is good; his mercy endures forever."
When our granddaughter was around two years old she would always notice when there were aeroplanes flying overhead, as they often did where she lived. We were with her on one occasion, as an aeroplane disappeared out of sight, and she commented ‘I think it’s gone back to its nest!’ Having not seen an aeroplane close up, her concept of aeroplanes was similar to that of birds; they appeared small, they flew in the sky and therefore they had a nest.
I wonder whether our concept of God suffers from the same lack of perspective. We constrain him to a church building, or even to the altar, we limit him to our own narrow understanding, and lose sight of our great and awesome God. Solomon clearly struggled with the same dilemma. He had built a temple, as God had instructed, for God to dwell in, and yet he reflected, ‘The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!’
Because of his love, God chooses to dwell among his people, and when God chose to inhabit the temple, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. In response to this the people knelt down with their faces to the ground and worshipped God saying, "He is good; his mercy endures forever."
Today, through the presence of his Holy Spirit, God dwells in the hearts and lives of his people. St Paul says, ‘Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in your midst?’ (1 Corinthians 3:16). Both individually and corporately, Christians and the Christian Church (people, not building) is now where God chooses to dwell through his Holy Spirit.
Isn’t that just awesome? Isn’t that cause to fall on our knees and worship the God of Glory? Let us join with Solomon and all God’s people in proclaiming ‘Lord you are good, and your mercy endures forever’.
Almighty and Awesome God, I will never fathom why you would choose to dwell in the hearts of people like me, but I worship you and proclaim
Lord you are good, and your mercy endures forever’.
Lord you are good, and your mercy endures forever