SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Solomon says God said he would live "in a dark cloud" (verse 1). He is referring to times in the past when God had shown His presence with the Israelites through a cloud with them (see Exodus 19:9; 24:15 and 18; 33:9-10).
- Solomon, in verse 4, refers to a promise God had made to his father, David. You can find this promise in 2 Samuel 7:5-16).
- In verses 19-42 Solomon prays about a variety of concerns, such as crime, enemy attacks, drought and famine. God invites us to pray about all of our concerns (see 1 Peter 5:7).
- Solomon assumes, in verse 26, that drought would come, and it would be the consequence of the people's sin. This does not mean that all natural disasters are brought on by God. This was a special case because God had made a specific covenant with HIs people back then, telling them that if they violated it, drought would come as a result (see Deuteronomy 28:20-24).
- Notice in verses 12 and 13 that Solomon knelt as he prayed. This is noteworthy because kings never bowed or knelt. Kneeling was a sign of submission to a higher authority, and kings were considered the highest authority. Solomon knew that God is THE highest authority, and so he was willing to humble himself before God and the people. We too need to humble ourselves before God and others.
- In verse 18 Solomon expresses amazement that God would be willing to live on earth in the temple they had built. Imagine how shocked Solomon would have been if he knew that God would someday come down and live on earth in human skin, in the person of Jesus. We should be overwhelmed by the idea that God became a man and lived amongst us. Yes, God asks us to be humble and to humble ourselves, but the surprising twist is that God Himself is humble and humbled Himself.
- In what ways would you say you are lacking humility? God wants us to be humble (see Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5) and so yes, we should pray for humility, but probably the best strategy is to choose to humble ourselves. So what humbling action could you take this week? Ask God to show you how He wants you to be humble as He is humble.