IS YOUR GOD TOO SMALL?
Lord, make Yourself so real to me today.
Read 1 Kings 8:22–30
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven 23 and said:
“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
25 “Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’ 26 And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.
27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s 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. 29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ 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.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat inspires you to think of God and heaven? A beautiful nature landscape? A grand cathedral? A baby’s smile?
The Jerusalem Temple did that to an even greater extent—after all, it conformed to divinely revealed plans. Solomon’s prayer of dedication is entirely fitting therefore.
Notice how the king begins: Lord—the covenant-making and covenant-keeping God (23). He is the God of Israel—a tiny nation occupying a small strip that effectively provides a land bridge between three continents. Yet this God is truly unique.
Work through these verses and identify what sets Israel’s God apart from every other object of human worship. The key is surely the fact that no other gods actually reveal promises, let alone keep them. In contrast, Solomon could say that his very position, and the building of the Temple, were the result of promises to his father David.
Casual observers might assume that the Lord was like all the rest simply because he was worshipped in a human building. But Solomon is adamant—God doesn’t actually live there (27–30). He’s far too great for that. Heaven is his home (30); the Temple is the visible emblem of his dwelling with his people.
Look at the stars tonight and reflect on the fact that God in Christ is revealed as cosmic. The universe is his. Anything we see on earth is just a reflection, a pointer to who he really is.
The heavens declare Your glory, God; the skies proclaim the work of Your hands! (Psa. 19:1).
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