Sermons

Summary: Praise God for His faithfulness and plead for His forgiveness.

Finally the Temple of God is completed and Solomon brings in the Ark of the Covenant into the sanctuary.

• It’s the symbol of God’s presence with His people. It is to be placed in the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place, and under the wings of the cherubim (4:6).

1 Kings 8 - Solomon summoned all the leaders - the elders, heads of tribes, the chiefs of families – and together they escorted the Ark into the Temple.

• The priests carried the Ark and the Levites the Tent of Meeting and all the other scared furnishings.

8:10-11 “When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.”

• The same phenomenon happened when Moses completed the Tabernacle. Exo 40:34 “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

• The cloud is visible. It is a sign of God’s presence. His glory fills the Temple. No man can see God, but man can see the visible sign of His presence.

Solomon praised God. Read 1 Kings 8:14-21.

• He then stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and offered this prayer of dedication. Read 1 Kings 8:22-26.

2 THINGS STAND OUT – the emphasis on God’s Faithfulness and the plead for God’s Forgiveness.

When Solomon first praised God, his words were (8:15):

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with His own hand has fulfilled what He promised with His own mouth to my father David.” God kept His promise (8:20).

And then in the prayer (8:23-24):

"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below - you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it - as it is today.”

Again God kept His promise – His covenant of love to Israel, and His word to David.

• Again the words - with His mouth He promised; with His hand he fulfilled.

• God said it and He did it! He promised and He performed! And we see it today!

• Solomon praises God for His faithfulness!

Imagine this sight. Solomon standing before the Altar of the Lord and that’s in front of the Temple.

• And we have these TWO BRONZE PILLARS right there, Jakin and Boaz – testifying that it is God who establishes and in Him in strength. God did it!

ACKNOWLEDGE GOD’S FAITHFULNESS

At such a special moment, when dedicating this magnificent Temple of God, Solomon could have recounted all the years of hard work put in.

• We read through the accounts in the last two Sundays. The amount of resources, the efforts put in, and the many skilled labourers engaged, from David’s time until now, in building this Temple.

• Solomon has reasons to be proud of his efforts. Seven years of hard work and now this great achievement.

And yet the only thing he is seeing is the faithfulness of God.

He sees the faithfulness of God in all of this and he is grateful.

• He did not assumed that this was the result of his capability or wise planning, not his talents or great leadership. (Which can be true, looking at this great building.)

• But he said, God said it and He did it.

So who actually achieve all this? Who made this possible? Did Solomon build this Temple or did God build the Temple?

Solomon sees the hand of God in all that he has achieved. He acknowledges God’s faithfulness in this achievement.

• May we see the same today and acknowledge the goodness and faithfulness of God in our own lives. Without Him, we will not be where we are today.

• It’s not about how great we are, but how good God has been. Our achievements are truly His achievements.

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Solomon went on to pray for the FORGIVENESS of God:

1 Kings 8:27-30 27"But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. 29May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, `My Name shall be there,' so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30Hear 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.

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