God’s Word of Prayer
1 Kings 8:1-21: David’s son, Solomon, is now king. Solomon brings the Covenant Box to the Temple. The priests carry it into the Most Holy Place, and God’s glory shines through the Temple. Then Solomon speaks to the people, praising God and explaining his actions.
The Covenant Box Is Brought to the Temple
(2 Chronicles 5.2—6.2)
1 Then King Solomon summoned all the leaders of the tribes and clans of Israel to come to him in Jerusalem in order to take the Lord‘s Covenant Box from Zion, David’s City, to the Temple. 2 They all assembled during the Festival of Shelters in the seventh month, in the month of Ethanim. 3When all the leaders had gathered, the priests lifted the Covenant Box 4and carried it to the Temple. The Levites and the priests also moved the Tent of the Lord‘s presence and all its equipment to the Temple. 5King Solomon and all the people of Israel assembled in front of the Covenant Box and sacrificed a large number of sheep and cattle—too many to count. 6Then the priests carried the Covenant Box into the Temple and put it in the Most Holy Place, beneath the winged creatures. 7Their outstretched wings covered the box and the poles it was carried by. 8The ends of the poles could be seen by anyone standing directly in front of the Most Holy Place, but from nowhere else. (The poles are still there today.) 9 There was nothing inside the Covenant Box except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai, when the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel as they were coming from Egypt.
10 As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud 11shining with the dazzling light of the Lord‘s presence, and they could not go back in to perform their duties. 12 Then Solomon prayed:
“You, Lord, have placed the sun in the sky,
yet you have chosen to live in clouds and darkness.
13Now I have built a majestic temple for you,
a place for you to live in forever.”
Solomon’s Address to the People
(2 Chronicles 6.3-11)
14As the people stood there, King Solomon turned to face them, and he asked God’s blessing on them. 15He said, “Praise the Lord God of Israel! He has kept the promise he made to my father David, when he told him, 16 ‘From the time I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen any city in all the land of Israel in which a temple should be built where I would be worshiped. But I chose you, David, to rule my people.’”
17 And Solomon continued, “My father David planned to build a temple for the worship of the Lord God of Israel, 18but the Lord said to him, ‘You were right in wanting to build a temple for me, 19 but you will never build it. It is your son, your own son, who will build my temple.’
20“And now the Lord has kept his promise. I have succeeded my father as king of Israel, and I have built the Temple for the worship of the Lord God of Israel. 21I have also provided a place in the Temple for the Covenant Box containing the stone tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Kings 8:12
Solomon prayed “You, LORD, have placed the sun in the sky, yet you have chosen to live in clouds and darkness.”
The Covenant Box was the acacia wood box that accompanied the Israelites on their wilderness wanderings in the time of Moses. It contained the two flat stones that had the Ten Commandments written on them. This box was sacred to God’s people. In your community of faith, are there objects or places that you consider to be sacred? What are they?
Holy Lord, you inhabit both the heavens and the earth, filling them with your light and love. Make me aware of your presence that I may more easily see and know your steadfast love and care. Amen.
1 Kings 8:22-40: Solomon prays in the presence of the people.