1 Kings 8:22-30 | Prayer of Dedication
8:22 Then Solomon stood before the altar [the temple had two altars: the gold altar or altar of incense was inside the inner sanctuary in front of the wall of the Most Holy Place; the bronze altar of burnt offering (on which priests sacrificed animals) was placed in front of the temple (Solomon stood before this altar)] of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel [indicates that Solomon’s prayer was part of a public worship service], spread out his hands toward heaven [our spiritual posture in prayer is more important than our physical posture]
Note: Prayer postures in the Bible…
• Solomon “spread out his hands toward heaven” 1 Kings 8:22
• Hezekiah prayed while lying ill in bed 2 Kings 20:1-2
• Daniel prayed while kneeling Daniel 6:10
• Peter prayed while kneeling Acts 9:40
8:23 and said: “O LORD [the personal name for God (the name He revealed to Moses)], God of Israel, there is no God like you [Solomon praised the Lord for His uniqueness] in heaven above or on earth below [people in surrounding nations commonly worshiped various gods/idols] — [Solomon praised the Lord for His faithfulness; cf. Deut. 7:7-9] you who [God has covenant responsibilities] keep your covenant of love [Heb. “chesed” which has been translated “lovingkindness,” “covenant love,” “loyalty,” and “steadfast love”] with your servants [God’s people have covenant responsibilities] who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
Note: How can we affirm God’s faithfulness in our prayer life?
8:24 [illustration of God’s faithfulness…] You have kept your promise [that David’s son would build temple (2 Sam. 7:12-13)] to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
Note: What experiences in your life have affirmed God’s faithfulness?
8:25 “Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises [other promises besides the one referred to in 8:24] you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel [cf. 2 Sam. 7:12-16], if [a conditional promise] only your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me as you have done [cf. 1 Kings 2:2-4].’
Note: Promises in the Bible
• Some of God’s promises are to everyone Genesis 9:16
• Some of God’s promises are to believers John 14:2-3
• Some of God’s promises are made at a particular time to a particular person 1 Kings 17:14
• Satan temps us to misapply God’s promises Ps. 91:11-12 / Lk. 4:9-12
8:26 [Solomon was concerned that the Lord continue to bless Israel beyond his lifetime] And now, O God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
Note: Some tend to think only of their generation. In what ways do you demonstrate concern for future generations?
8:27 “But will God really dwell on earth [God is omnipresent]? The heavens, even the highest heaven [“heaven of heavens”], cannot contain you [cf. Isa. 66:1-2; Acts 7:48-50]. How much less this temple I have built [God’s greatness and magnitude cannot be contained in any earthly structure]!
8:28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer [refers generally to any prayer offered to God; can refer specifically to intercession or supplication] and his plea for mercy [denoted entreating a favor from God based on His grace; can also be translated “supplication” or “plea” (cf. 1 Kings 8:52; Ps. 55:1)], O LORD my God. Hear the cry [can indicate an expression of praise to God (Ps. 105:43) or a cry (“a wailing cry of petition”) for God’s help (Pss. 5:2; 61:1)] and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.
8:29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day [Solomon wanted God to keep His attention on the temple at all times], this place of which you said, ‘My Name [signified God’s self-revealed character] shall be there,’ so that you will hear [be attentive and responsive to] the prayer your servant prays toward [the temple provided a way for worshipers to focus on God’s reality and holiness] this place.
8:30 Hear [to hear and to act on what was heard; cf. 8:31-53 re: seven specific instances when a person might pray a prayer towards the temple (8:31-32; 8:33-34; 8:35-36; 8:37-40; 8:41-43; 8:44-45; 8:46-53] 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 8:56
8:56“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest [implied the end of war and the ensuing security; peaceful settlement in the promised land, freedom from enemies, the Lord’s presence in their midst; people of Israel able to build the temple because they were not preoccupied with war] to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses [cf. Deut. 12:1-14].