This morning my devotional reading centered upon the account of all that was involved in the building of the 1st Temple in Jerusalem (aka Solomon’s Temple). This was a project birthed in the heart of King David – something he planned in great detail; something he ‘laid aside’ for, throughout his life. Unfortunately, David was not permitted to build the Temple – a House for the Lord – David himself being a man of war. Nevertheless, his plans were passed along to Solomon, his son, whom the Lord would allow to build it.
The record of the build (and all that it involved) is quite amazing – spanning 3 chapters in 1Kings (Chapters 5-7; also in 2Chronicles Ch’s 3-5). But even more amazing is the prayer Solomon prays at the dedication – recorded in 1Kings Ch. 8 & 2Chronicles Ch. 6. It is my practice to read this beautiful, powerful prayer several times a year. When I consider the weight of it – being offered by the leader of a country whose heart was wholly consecrated to the Lord; being offered before the eyes & ears of an attentive nation living in Holy accord – it is absolutely ‘awesome’, in the most literal sense of the word! Having said that, my attention this morning was drawn to the epilogue of Solomon’s prayer of dedication. It stirred my heart, so I offer it below.
After his prayer, Solomon got off his knees (a posture of humility & surrender) turned to the thousands gathered and he ‘blessed them with a loud voice’ saying, “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to His people… according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all His good promise, which he spoke by Moses His servant. May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His rules, which He commanded our fathers. Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may He maintain the cause of His people, Israel (those who are ‘governed by God’) as each day requires, THAT ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT THE LORD IS GOD; AND THAT THERE IS NO OTHER. (Solomon concludes) Therefore, let your (our) heart be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in HIS Statutes and keeping HIS Commandments, as at this day.” (1kings 8:56-61, ESV) Amen!
Lord, I pray as Solomon prayed: ‘Incline our hearts toward You’. Indeed! Might our hearts be wholly true to You, O Lord our God – and may we demonstrate such before a world that is watching by walking in Your Statutes and by keeping Your Commandments… living in light of the perfect Law of Liberty, the Law of Love – for love does no hurt or no harm to another, therefore love is the fulfillment of the whole law. (Cf. Rom. 13:8-10)
History records that the Lord will indeed show Himself strong on behalf of those who life in this way, ‘maintaining our cause’ and ‘meeting all our needs’ as the day requires.