Solomon’s Benediction of the dedication of the 1st temple
I Kings 8:54-61 Teague Bible Church 10/20/13
Solomon is one of the most interesting figures in all of Scripture! If he were just rich and powerful we would see him as just another in a long line of rich and powerful men, (and usually self-indulged men.)
But with Solomon we have a man who is very much concerned to bring attention to the
honor of God.
Last week we beheld his great unselfish prayer in I Kings 3.
QUESTION: Would you have prayed such a prayer?
After completing the most glorious structure of all times; the temple at Jerusalem, he gives a wonderful address. I Kings 8:22-53.
I would like to focus on the benediction to this prayer today recorded in ;
I Kings 8: 54-60. MAIN TEXT
It is here you see Solomon address the need of the individual heart that should exemplify each person belonging to the nation. The whole of the nation of Israel, (of any nation for that matter,) is no stronger that the parts that make it up.
You might notice how “personally” this prayer can be applied.
For some reason we tend to believe God would have trouble knowing the individual heart of each person on planet earth, and dealing so intimately with each heart. I suppose, we project onto God, what we would have to do to be that well acquainted with people.
You might remember the movie, “Bruce Almighty,” where for one day, one human, would have the power of God. He heard all the voices praying at once, and had to come up with a file system to keep track of all the request made of him. Not so with God.
God has so designed it, that it is as if you are the only one here. He has all the time in the world for you. Will you make time for Him?
In this short benediction we see many statements that connect to our daily lives. This is very personal indeed. We also see our problem concerning unanswered prayer in this passage. This is one of those timeless passages about us, and about God, we really need to apply.
We can expect to sense the real presence of God, and have answered prayer, when all
the layers inside of us are pealed away and we are honest before Him.
May it be today, that the real God, finds the real you; all layers stripped away; leaving the building today knowing you have truly met with God.
Intro: A few passages leading up to this great moment of benediction
I Kings 4: 21, 24-25, 29-34
8: 23 “with all their heart”
8: 27 “cannot contain God”
8:39 “You alone know the hearts of all the sons men”
8:48 “with all their heart”
Today’s text: *******************************
READ I Kings 8: 54-56
v.56 “Rest” Hebrews 3:18-4:3a A deeper rest involved in the book of
Hebrews than simple national cessation from physical war.
v. 57 “ Not leave us, or forsake us” Hebrews 13:5-6 ( Deuteronomy 31: 6, 8 )
v. 58 “ Incline our hearts to Himself” The work of the Holy Spirit;
John 6:44 “ No one can come to Me unless the Father who
sent Me draws him;”
John 12:32 “And I , if I am lifted up from the earth,
Will draw men to Myself.”
Example: Man in Olympia/ 4 spiritual laws tract/ “all men sinners”
He rejected that the situation was so bad that Jesus had to come down here
and be executed for us. We just need some improvement, he said.
I said, “Until you come to this point, the Father cannot draw you to Himself.
You have to see your need”
Galatians 2: 21 “ I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
For God to “incline” our hearts toward Him, or draw us to Him, we have to entertain
the idea that what the Scripture says about us is true.
Example: The case of Judas and what “being drawn to God” means
John 6:63-65 “ for this reason”
v.59 “,,,be near to the Lord” May our desire, and His purposes line up. John 15: 4-5
If we do not spend time with God we will repeat the pattern of trying to make
ourselves happy, in our own way, and come away empty.
QUESTION: How many times has that happened to you? You are sure what will,
for once and for all make you happy. You gain that thing and
you are still unhappy.
Only God, who created you, knows what ( really who) will make you happy.
QUESTION: Does that make sense to you?
Solomon is pleading for intimacy with God here. “day and night” / “as each day requires”
v.60 “,,, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God;
there is no one else.”
To “flesh out” the reality of God’s love to others
John 13: 34-35 “ by this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Our goal is the same; to “flesh out” the reality of God’s love to others.
I want you to know that there is no greater purpose and joy than knowing you helped someone come to know and walk with Christ. There is nothing greater!
v. 61 “wholly devoted ”
( not “perfection” happening all at once, at one point in time, but commitment to
hold nothing back each time you have opportunity to met with God and
serve God with the maturity you have at the moment.)
I Kings 8:23 “with all their heart”
8: 38-39 “You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men”
8: 48 “if they return to you with all their hearts”
A shocking statement:
Nothing really laborious or hard about being whole-hearted. It is the surrender to be “wholehearted” that is hard.
Example: You may be afraid to jump of a diving board the first time, but who would believe you if you said it was hard work to dive off ! You just lean forward!
And the beautiful thing is you want to drive again and again!
How do we apply this today? *******************
1. (v.56) Enjoy the “rest” that God gives you through Jesus Christ.
The world sees you have it and wants it also.
Yes we strive to please God but not in some stress-filled manner!
C.S. Lewis “ The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to
be good. They hope , by being good, to please God if there is one; or
– if they think there is not- at least they hope to deserve approval from
good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from
the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us
because we are good, but that God will make us
good because He loves us.
(Mere Christianity ch.5, para. 5, p. 64)
2. (v. 57) You have the assurance that He will never leave you are forsake you
while you are learning to follow Him. If you could just walk away
forever and forget Him, it means you never came to know Him in the first place.
Many came forward to “accept” the Lord, at a church, the night I got saved, but only about 3 of the 40 that came during that revival service, at invitation time, truly got saved and continue to this day.
You may bring terrible temporal judgments on yourself, in this life, because you are stubborn, but as a believer your salvation is based on a gift. If you truly gave your heart to Christ, at a point in time, it will become evident by endurance. One of the signs of real belief is endurance; to come back time and time again to love the Lord and please Him.
(Carefully read I kings 11 recording the great fall of Solomon, that he was no longer
“wholly” devoted to the Lord, and yet when we read II Samuel 7: 12-16, we see that
God’s lovingkindness never departed from Solomon.)
3. (v. 58) Be sensitive to the Lord; He is (inclining) stirring your heart
to trust and obey Him each day. That makes it better!
4. (v. 59) Be open to let Him show you how His way is the best way for you.
You “line up” each and every day and it becomes easier.
5. (v.60) Incredible results that help bring people to the Lord as they see you
trying to please Him. You may feel like you are barely hanging on but the
unbeliever see it and it blows him away that you are trying
to please God and love God!