Welcome, or welcome back, to the 21-day Scripture reading challenge. For the next 21 days I’ll be posting scripture and a brief reflection and prayer. Of course, if you’d prefer to read on your own that is quite alright too! Challenge accepted, Ms. Barry!
1 Kings 8:1, 22-30 (NRSV)
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.
22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, 24 the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. 25 Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! 28 Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.
God’s promise to allow David’s son to build a house of worship has been fulfilled. What a dedication ceremony that must have been! Above is a portion of King Solomon’s address to the people and prayer to God. He reminds the people that God can be trusted as a promise keeper. Solomon prays that this will be part of a deepening relationship between God and the people. The needs of the people are great and the power of God is greater. God can be trusted. He is willing and capable to meet our every need.
God in heaven please hear the cries of our heart. You have promised through your son our Savior Jesus that you will answer our prayers. So it is because of your faithfulness that we pray heartfelt prayers for healing and peace; forgiveness and reconciliation; help for today and hope for tomorrow.