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29. Solomon Dedicates the Temple

January 26, 2010

Text:      I Kings 8:22-9:9

Harmony Text:      II Chronicles 6:12-7:22

Outline:            I. Solomon’s Prayer      II Kings 8:22-53

II. Solomon’s Blessing      II Kings 8:54-61

III. Solomon’s Sacrifices and Celebration      II Kings 8:62-66

IV. Solomon’s Visit from God      II Kings 9:1-9

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Solomon stands before the altar together with Israel [most likely elders from the 12 tribes and visiting worshipers] and prays to the Lord in 12 basic petitions, the last one including his final blessing. These petitions are as follows:

1. God is God who loves those who love Him. God is faithful and keeps His promises [vs. 24]

2. Solomon acknowledges God’s promise to always have a descendant of David on Israel’s throne but he also is aware that promise is conditional on David’s descendants walking with and obeying God [vs. 25-26].

3. God is great and goes far beyond His Presence in the Temple but Solomon asks God to hear his prayer and the prayers of all Israel, especially those asking forgiveness for sin [vs. 27-30].

4. Solomon asks God to judge them with His justice, determining the innocent and the guilty when they mistreat their fellow man [vs. 31-32].

5. Solomon asks God to forgive them when they have been defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against God [vs. 33-35].

6. He asks God to forgive them and teach them His ways when they pray and confess their sin toward God which has resulted in famine [vs. 35-36].

7. Solomon asks God to hear their prayer and forgive them when they cry out for help and relief from famine, plagues, and war. He asks God to teach them to fear the Lord [vs. 37-40].

8. He asks God to hear the prayers of foreigners who come there to worship. He asks God to answer their prayers so that all people may know God [vs. 41-43].

9. God is asked to hear their prayers and support them when they are going to war against their enemies [vs. 44-45].

10. When Israel sins, for we all sin, and God becomes angry and disciplines them, he asks God to hear their prayer of repentance and forgive them, granting them His mercy [vs. 46-51].

11. Solomon asks that their prayer be heard that day and everyday because God has chosen them to be His people.

12. Solomon closes by offering praise to God for giving them peace and fulfilling all His promises. He asks God to be with them and to keep their hearts focused on God and His Word. God is asked to hear their prayer and help them to be fully committed to serving God.

Solomon and Israel begin worshiping by sacrificing 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats in dedicating the Temple to the Lord and consecrating the courtyard. The sacrifices were so many that the offerings had to be placed on a temporary altar.

People were present from all Israel for this 14 day celebration, the last 7 days which was most likely the Feast of Tabernacles. It was time of celebration, unity, and great joy.

Upon finishing the Temple and his palace, God appears to Solomon a second time saying He has heard Solomon’s prayer and to repeat His Promise that David would always have a man on Israel’s throne if he continues to walk with God as his father David did. But God also warns Solomon that if he or his sons refuse to walk with Him and turn to other gods, then God will remove them from the Land and will abandon His Presence in His Temple among them. This is exactly what happened before Judah was exiled to Babylon [see Ezekiel 10 & 11; also my notes].

Lessons/Applications:

1. God is faithful, keeping all His Promises.

2. The key to fellowship with God is founded on acknowledging and confessing our sins before Him. God hears the prayers of the repentant sinner and will answer.

   3. Recognize that one reason for man’s/a nations problems is God disciplining those He loves.

4. Plan big when dedicating houses of worship to the Lord. Let the people rejoice and the Lord be praised. Invite others to learn of God’s goodness and forgiveness.

5. Never cease to praise God for all your blessings, committing to do His Will in loving service to Him. Proclaim His Name to all people.

6. Our commitment to the Lord and our dedication of His Temple [our hearts] is best demonstrated through our praise and worship of God in our lives.

7. God loves us unconditionally but His blessings are conditional. God is sovereign over all things. He honors those who honor Him. His Will is that we know Him, grow in our knowledge of Him, and glorify His Name. God is not present where He is not wanted. Rejecting the Lord leads to destruction.

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