Sunday, January 24, 2016

1 Kings 8

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Kings 8. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The ark of the covenant (verse 1) was the container for the tablets God had put the Ten Commandments on.
  • The "tent of meeting" (verse 4) was a temporary portable structure that had been used in the past as the place where God would meet with His people, especially Moses.
  • Sacrificing animals (verses 5 and 62-63) was a means of worshipping God back then.
  • The cherubim were "statues" made of olive wood (see 1 Kings 6:23-28).
  • The cloud filling the temple (verse 10) was God providing a visible sign that His presence was there. God had also done that in the past (see Exodus 40:33-35).
  • In verse 27 we see that Solomon understands that though God had chosen to make His presence in the temple known (through the cloud), in reality God is not and cannot be contained by a physical structure.
  • Solomon prays a long, and pretty awesome prayer. Even though it was prayed about 3,000 years ago, there is still so much we can relate to in it (For instance, he prays that God will teach us "the right way to live," and when we don't live right that we'll become aware of "the afflictions" of our "own heart.")
  • In verses 41-43 Solomon recognizes that God isn't just for "His people" but is for "the rest of us" and prays that everyone will come to know Him.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Solomon is obviously very excited that he was able to build a house for God. But he realizes the truth that what's far more important than God's house is the faithfulness of God's people (se, for instance, verse 61). It's still true today. God is not very concerned about church buildings; He cares deeply about His people living faithful, obedient lives.
  • The prayer/blessing Solomon prays in verses 56-60 can serve as a kind of model prayer for us because we need to pray for what Solomon prayed for. What did he pray for?
    1. He starts with praise (verse 56)
    2. He prays for God to be with them (verse 57)
    3. He prays for a desire to do God's will and obey Him (verses 58 and 61)
    4. He prays that God will meet "each day's needs" (verse 59)
    5. He prays that everyone will come to know God (verse 60)

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you ever find yourself putting the "trappings" of religion (like a building or a ritual) above being faithful to God? Where in your life might your obedience be lacking? Is your heart "fully committed" (verse 61) to Him?Do you realize how much God cares about that?
  • Why don't you take a few moments and pray the five things Solomon prayed in verses 56-60? You might even make it part of your daily routine to pray those five things...