1 Kings 8:54-66: Solomon concludes his prayer and blesses the people. He admonishes the people to be faithful to God and to obey God’s laws and commands. Today’s reading concludes with a description of Solomon offering sacrifices to the LORD and dedicating the Temple.
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: 1 KINGS 8:56A
[Solomon said:] “Praise the LORD who has given his people peace, as he promised he would.”
THE FINAL PRAYER
54After Solomon had finished praying to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar, where he had been kneeling with uplifted hands.55In a loud voice he asked God’s blessings on all the people assembled there. He said,56 “Praise the Lordwho has given his people peace, as he promised he would. He has kept all the generous promises he made through his servant Moses.57May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us;58may he make us obedient to him, so that we will always live as he wants us to live, keeping all the laws and commands he gave our ancestors.59May the Lord our God remember at all times this prayer and these petitions I have made to him. May he always be merciful to the people of Israel and to their king, according to their daily needs.60And so all the nations of the world will know that the Lord alone is God—there is no other.61May you, his people, always be faithful to the Lord our God, obeying all his laws and commands as you do today.”
THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE
62Then King Solomon and all the people there offered sacrifices to the Lord.63He sacrificed 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep as fellowship offerings. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple.64That same day he also consecrated the central part of the courtyard, the area in front of the Temple, and then he offered there the sacrifices burned whole, the grain offerings, and the fat of the animals for the fellowship offerings. He did this because the bronze altar was too small for all these offerings.
65There at the Temple, Solomon and all the people of Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters for seven days. There was a huge crowd of people from as far away as Hamath Pass in the north and the Egyptian border in the south.66On the eighth day Solomon sent the people home. They all praised him and went home happy because of all the blessings that the Lordhad given his servant David and his people Israel.
The completion of the Temple fulfills two important promises that God made to the nation of Israel. The first is the promise to David that his son would follow him as king and be the one to build the Temple (2 Samuel 7:12, 13). The second is that Israel would have a time of peace after entering the Promised Land (Canaan) and establishing a central place of worship (Deuteronomy 12:5-19). How do you experience God’s promises? Have you made any promises to God?
Holy God, thank you for the ways in which you keep your promises to your people. Make me ever mindful of your faithfulness that I may live and serve you according to your will. Amen.