1 Kings 6-8
(Temple Done)
April 9th


Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

1400 and eighty years after the people of Israel left Egypt, during the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the second month, the month of Ziv, Solomon began work on the Temple.

- 1 Kings 6:1 (GNB)

Summary of Chapters

These three chapters summarize Solomonís seven-year project to build the first temple in Israel. Chapter 6 noted that the dimensions of the temple were about 90 feet long (60 cubits), 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. The outer walls were made of stones cut in the quarry in Lebanon (so that there was no noise of cutting and hammering in the temple). The inner sanctuary measured approximately 30 feet by 30 feet, by 30 feet. Solomon (or his workers) ďoverlaid the whole interior with gold (6:22).Ē

Next, Solomon constructed a larger building for his palace, as described in chapter 7. The palace foundation had a footprint that was about 150 feet by 75 feet, but the height was the same as the temple, 45 feet (30 cubits).

Chapter 8 provides an account of the priests bringing the ark into the new temple. Afterwards, Solomon offers a long prayer of praise in which he repeatedly asks God to listen to his requests. He prophesized Israelís disobedience, the great exile, and the eventual forgiveness from God. The prayer began in humility and adoration:

    But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servantís prayer and his plea for mercy, LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ĎMy Name shall be there,í so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 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 8:7-30 (NIV)

After the prayer, the people offer a massive sacrifice and then celebrate seven days. Subsequently, they celebrated for another seven days, and then everyone returned to their homes and lives.

Reflection and Application

Godís house is worthy of fine craftsmanship and respect. Solomon respected this principle by bringing in the best craftspeople and materials. He even assured that the location maintained a peaceful atmosphere by requiring that all loud work would be conducted off premises.

The project did not begin until 480 years after the Israelites arrived in the Promised Land, as noted in 6:1. It was more important for the people to develop spiritual leaders and hearts for God than to have a temple.

Then, God decided it was the right time and Solomon was the right person to manage the project. He did not want a warrior like Joshua or David for this job, he wanted a man of peace who had skills in building and managing projects. Solomon completed the project in seven years Ė a Biblical number representing completeness.

What did you think of Solomonís palace? Was it kosher for him to make it larger than the temple? How much space does one man need? You have to give him credit for building the temple first. A later generation failed to follow this priority order when they returned from exile and began building their homes first, which did not win them favor in Godís eyes. However, Solomonís decision to glorify himself with a larger structure was a foreshadowing of future actions that threatened the entire nation.

Solomonís prayer in chapter 8 is a good model for us. When you read through it closely you can see that he closes the prayer with five requests that parallel most of the key points in the Lordís Prayer taught by Jesus (1):

    1. Godís Presence v8:57 (Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name)
    2. The desire to do Godís will v8:58 (Thy kingdom come, thy will be doneÖ)
    3. Help with each dayís needs 8:59 (Give us this day our daily breadÖ)
    4. The desire and ability to obey Godís decrees and commands v8:58 (And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil)
    5. Spread of Godís kingdom to the entire world v8:60 (For thine is the kingdom and power and glory forever and ever, Amen)

Solomonís prayer and Jesusí lesson on prayer remind us to begin our prayers by honoring God so that we are in the right frame of mind for our requests. The first request relates to the fulfillment of Godís will and the other main requests relate to minimal material needs on a day to day basis and help in obedience and avoidance of temptation.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What seven-year projects or other long-term projects have you completed?
    2. What were some of the obstacles and success stories from your project?
    3. How can we re-create the atmosphere of Godís temple in the locations where we spend our day?

    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we acknowledge you as worthy of the richest temple. Help us create the peace of your temple wherever you go.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Sextons who care for churches

    Footnotes

    (1) Life Application Study Bible, New International Version, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, M; 1991, p.563

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: 1 Kings 9-11 (Solomon in all his Splendor)

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