Focal Passage: 1 Kings 8:22-23,
Most leaders want to be remembered for at least one
outstanding accomplishment. As king, Solomon expanded the empire handed to him
by his father, David, and without doubt his greatest achievement was building
The text for today describes the dedication of the Temple.
The day of dedication was scheduled to take place during the Festival of
Booths. The Temple was dedicated during a time when the people would remember
their ancestors’ time in the desert. The location of the Temple
also had great significance because it was built on the threshing floor, the
place where, years earlier, David had built an altar to worship God.
The famed Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Temple,
which would be its new permanent home.
The feature that set apart the Solomonic Temple from other
temples in the ancient world was that there was no idol in it. It contained
only the Mercy Seat over the Ark and the Cherubim overshadowing the Mercy Seat.
This declared to the world that idols were unnecessary for God to be present.
The God of Israel was not localized or bound in any sense.
Years later, the Christian martyr, Stephen, said to an
unruly crowd, “… Solomon built God a house. However, the Most High does not
dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne,
and the earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me?’ says the
Lord, ‘or what is the place of My rest? Has not My hand made all these
things?’” (Acts 7:47-50, quoting Isaiah 66:1-2).
Solomon realized that God could not be limited to one
particular place (1 Kings 8:27).
God cannot be limited or inhibited by human
hands or buildings. God is beyond our control.
Solomon’s finest moment came as he dedicated the new Temple
to the glory of God. At that inspired moment, it was as if Solomon could see
into the future when he prayed, “When a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel,
comes from a distant land because of your name — for they shall hear of your
great name” (v. 41-42).
The day would come when people from all over would visit
this magnificent Temple and be told
of God’s mighty works. The Temple would become a link between the people and
May this story encourage us to look beyond our church
buildings to the “foreigners” who are in our midst and share with them the
story of God’s mighty works, so that they too may know His name!