God at the Center
Lord Jesus Christ, You reign supreme over life and death, frustration and pain, loss and loneliness. I praise You.
Read 1 KINGS 8:1-21
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“It is amazing what you can do if you do not care who gets the credit” (Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972). The Christian could adapt these wise words to read, “It is amazing what God can do if we give him the credit”!
Almost every chapter in the story of Solomon has a hidden agenda. For example, did you notice in chapter 5 the references to his forced-labor scheme, which is later pictured as oppressive? But chapter 8, telling of the opening and dedication of the Temple, is different. Solomon is the main speaker and he shows again how much potential he had. The writer’s clear intention is to ensure that the focus is on God himself and on his Temple, but this doesn’t mean that people were irrelevant. All the tribes and families, all the priests and Levites, the whole assembly (14) were brought together to hear what Solomon had to say, first about God and then to God.
Verses 15-21 are a challenging and reassuring call to the assembled people. King Solomon tells Israel to remember–as we should tell 21st-century Christian believers–that God keeps his promises, as he kept his promises to David. God knows what we have in our hearts, as he did with David. God affirms our good intentions but shows that taking us up on these is not always the best way for his purposes to be worked out. David had been told that it was his son, “your own flesh and blood…who will build the temple” (19). David had to learn that it was the building of the Temple and more especially the God of the Temple, not the one who built it, that was really significant.
We may feel sidelined when a task that is close to our hearts is taken over by someone else. It is important to remember that God remains the same and that the ones who have the privilege of completing our project are our brothers and sisters–our own flesh and blood! God’s promises to us about the project are still being kept!
Solomon speaks of God’s promises being kept (20). Have you seen God’s promises fulfilled in your life recently? When have you been especially aware of God’s holiness, glory or faithfulness?
Promise-keeping God, indeed, great is Your faithfulness! Thank You for challenges given and promises kept. You are such a great God!