1 Kings 8:22-40

The Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24 who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have [h]promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have [i]promised him, saying, ‘[j]You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.

27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the [k]highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You today; 29 that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; hear in heaven Your dwelling place; hear and forgive.

31 “If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, 32 then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

33 “When Your people Israel are [l]defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, if they turn to You again and confess Your name and pray and make supplication to You in this house, 34 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name and turn from their sin when You afflict them, 36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land, which You have given Your people for an inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their [m]cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is38 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, [n]each knowing the [o]affliction of his own heart, and spreading his [p]hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, 40 that they may [q]fear You all the days that they live [r]in the land which You have given to our fathers.

Right at the beginning, Solomon gives us some perspective. He reminds the people (and us) that God cannot be contained, nor does God dwell in a particular building. Yet the temple was a place to turn and remember God. So it is with us still, whether it be our church, or a quiet place, or some token that reminds us of who we are, and who God is.

While God cannot be contained, He still wants to dwell with us, to walk and talk with us, in our every day lives. Do what you need to remember that fact throughout your daily life. Remember that He is with you, He loves you beyond anything you can imagine, and desires your love in return.

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