Solomon’s Dedication Prayer/Solomon Seeks God’s Blessing/A Bright Future
Study Date: Jan 19, 2020
Scripture: 1 Kings 8: 22-53
MEMORY SELECTION: “Hear the Supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear forgive.1 Kings 8:30, KJV)
GUIDING PRINCIPLE: God’s people to be able to express dedication to the Lord in a moving prayer that shows genuine spirit of humility. To note that the prayer is not focus on the temple of God, but on the God of the temple.
RESOURCES FOR THE SEED:
2 Chronicles 29:3-11, 1 Kings 3:5-14, 1 Kings 9:1-9, Matthew 6:25-30, 2 Chronicles 7: 1-11, 1 Kings 8:54-61
ANALYZE: The importance of a national temple for Israel. Worship God.
EXPRESS: Gratitude for God’s faithfulness in covenant relationships. Communing with the Lord.
EMBRACE: A worshipful lifestyle in light of God’s continuing goodness. God is omnipresent.
BREAKING UP FALLOW GROUND
- Why is it important in the midst of life transitions to be in a covenant relationship with God and others?
- Why is it important to obey the commands of God to ensure a better future?
- What benefits do we enjoy in coming together in a specific place for worship?
- What role does prayer take in our worship of God?
- Why is expressing gratitude to God important?
- Why is prayer vital in our relationship with God?
- “What is God like?” What is the nature of God? What is God’s personality? What are the attributes of God?
A. Pray and Give Thanks (1 King 8: 22-26)
- To entered into the inner sanctuary and knelt in front of the altar with hands stretched toward heaven as we pray.
- Able to expressed gratitude to God for being faithful to the covenant made with his father.
- It shows that God is faithful even when we may not be.
- God’s promise was fulfilled through the birth of the Messiah who was a part of the Davidic line.
- The posture implies looking up toward heaven to God in faith and total surrender and expectancy as they wait for the answer.
- The Chronicler’s account of this event says that Solomon knelt on the special platform near the altar as he offered this prayer, lifting his hands to heaven (2 Chronicles 6:13).
- The lifting or raising up of one’s hand also represents total surrender, helplessness, and dependency to a superior or higher authority—in this case to God.
B. Pray and Believe (1 Kings 8: 27–30, 52-53)
- God’s presence was manifested in the Temple through the visibility of a cloud.
- Solomon acknowledged in his prayer that in spite of the beautiful Temple he had built for God, not even heaven was vast enough to contain His presence.
- God is omnipresent, so He cannot be confined to one specific location.
- No one can rightfully say God is only present at their place of worship.
- Our God can be wherever and with whomever He desires.
- Today God does not need a temple as a visible symbol of His invisible presence. God lives in our hearts.
- Solomon asked God to hear his prayers and pleas to be forgiven, as well as those of the people of Israel. This included when they were in the Temple and in other locations. It is traditional for the Israelites to pray facing the Temple in Jerusalem if they are not actually able to pray in the Temple.
- As Christians, we can pray and seek forgiveness no matter our physical position. God only requires we have a humble, repentant heart. He hears us and will respond.
- Solomon closed the prayer by reminding God about the covenant made at Mount Sinai with Moses and the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt (vv. 52–53; Exodus 19:5– 7).
- The Mosaic covenant set the commands the Israelites had to obey as God’s chosen people. Since they were still God’s chosen people, Solomon petitioned God to remember and respond to His people’s prayers.
God has been faithful toward us. Even when we have not done what is right, God still blesses us. All that God requires is that we pray and repent of our sins. God can and will restore us just like He repeatedly did for the Israelites. It is not too late to make things right between you and God.
PLANTING THE SEED:
- Using the gift of imagination, what images come to mind as you picture Solomon standing before God with the assembled congregation?
- If there would be a modern setting that might capture what you imagine, how would the setting appear?
- Can you recall a moment when you sensed that a person truly sensed God’s holy presence in a particular moment? Or, that a congregation was captivated by a sense of the holy?
- Are there actions you can take that enable you to more easily recognize God’s greatness in conjunction with you own humility? What are some of these actions and why do they work for you?
- How does our inadequacy and God’s magnificence complement each other? Why was it important for Solomon, after all he had done for God, to realize his accomplishment still left him feeling inadequate?
- Do you think God simply wants us to realize how weak we are, or do you believe God wants us to rather realize how great the Lord is? Could God desire both, and are not both important?
- What are your favorite places to visit for prayer? What place or places help remind you that God knows you are alive in the world, and precious to Him. What actions, thoughts, places, etc. most help you understand that God is truly listening to your prayer?
FRUIT FROM THE SEED: People of faith will always struggle to reconcile the greatness of God with the frailty of our humanity. We will ask, “How can God who fills the heavens and the earth fill my human heart?” However, it is our faith in Jesus Christ which is most helpful in reconciling the two. He joined humanity, not in a grand structure, but in a manger. God understand our deepest sorrows and highest joys. He understands our fear of death, and our strength in trusting God for everlasting life. What is God like? Look to Jesus!