Let’s turn to I Kings, chapter seven. In our last lesson, we were studying the building of the temple. We saw that it was roughly twice the size of the tabernacle in the wilderness. We read that it was seven years, in the building. Built of huge stones, covered with cedar, which were overlaid with gold. In chapter seven, we now deal with the building of Solomon’s palace. It seems like the palace was made up of several different areas. Some of it was of course, just for the entertaining. There were the living quarters. There was the porch for judgement. Then of course, the house that he built for Pharaoh’s daughter, one of his wives.
Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all of his house (7:1).
Probably the buildings were started simultaneously, and the temple was finished in seven years. Thirteen years for the building of Solomon’s house.
He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; and the length of it was a hundred and fifty feet, the breadth of it was seventy five feet, [So, a good sized main house. Seventy five feet, by a hundred and fifty feet. That’s a good sized mansion!] the height thereof was forty five feet, [Some believe that it was three stories high, which forty five feet would give you ample room for three stories. It would be fifteen feet per floor. So, it is quite possible that it was a three story house, which means that you then have around twenty five thousand square feet, within the house. Which isn’t a bad sized home. But, of course you look at the queen’s, the palace in England, and stuff like that you know it’s for kings. That’s not shabby, but it’s. It speaks about the beams.] covered above of the cedar beams, forty five pillars, fifteen in a row (7:2-3).
And so, it goes on, and gives the details which can get rather laborious. Talks about the windows and the doors, and the porch of the pillars, and then the porch of his judgement, verse seven. Then where he dwelt. His own living quarters, there was another court. The big main palace was probably for affairs of state, that were carried on there. He had his own living quarters which were sort of separate. Then…
The place that he built, [verse eight,] for Pharaoh’s daughter, who he had taken as his wife. It was like unto his own living quarters. And these were all of costly stones, according to the measures of the [huge] hewed stones, they were sawed with saws, within and without, and they were on the outside toward the great court. These stones were fifteen feet, some of them, and some of them twelve feet. [Not as big as some of the stones in his temple, which some of them were as large as eighteen feet.] And above were costly stones, [And so forth.] The great court round with the three rows of the hewed stones (7:8-12),
And all this. As I say, it gets laborious, it’s hard to really picture it too well in your mind. But it talks about his house. But then it goes into the making now, of the furnishings of the temple. Verse thirteen…
King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. [Now this is not the king of Tyre.] But this was a man who was of the tribe of Naphtali, [He was an extremely skillful man. He was a craftsman.] he was skilled in the working of brass: [And in the working of silver and gold.] He was filled [it says] with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all the works in brass. And so he came to king Solomon, and did all this [fabulous] brass work, and work of silver and gold for the temple. He [first of all] cast [these] two pillars of brass, [And a brass casting, they were] eighteen feet high: and they were [about] six feet thick (7:13-15),
Of course they were hollow in the center, otherwise you’d never be able to lift them. They were about three inches, the brass was about three inches thick. Hollow in the middle, about twelve feet around. So, pi that, well you can get about six of the feet in the diameter of them. Eighteen feet high. Then they made these fancy, called chapiters at the top, that sort of flared out at the top of the column, that had all of this uh, molten uh, kind of figures, and all on it. The pomegranates, and the work that looked like a chain. It describes these castings that were placed on the top of these pillars. They looked a little bit like the lilies. It goes ahead and describes them…
The one pillar, was called Jachin: and he set it up on the left pillar, and the name of it was called Boaz (7:21).
Now Jachin, means, “He shall establish”, and Boaz means, It is in it is strength, “In it is strength”, Boaz. So he shall establish strength. Now these pillars they believe, didn’t hold anything up. They were just sitting on the porch in the front of the temple. These large brass pillars. Of course they were later carried away to Babylon. But they were just there in the front, and they spoke of the fact that God had established these people, in His strength. They were people who were made strong by the Lord, they were people who were established by God. The names indicate that. They’ve been established by God, and they stand in His strength. So brass pillars.
Now, it is interesting, in the scriptures, the metal, brass, is always used in a symbolic way of judgement. So the altar where the offerings were made, was of brass. It speaks of the judgement of God against the sins. The animals being slain for the sins of the people. So the brass judgement. The lavers in which they would bathe, were of brass, again symbolizing the judgement. These pillars being cast of brass, is interesting because, just where the judgement would come in, is not indicated. The idea, or the symbolism of judgement.
Now he made this big brass laver, it’s called the molten sea. This was for the priests, that they might bathe before they go into the temple. Washing off the defilement, they would go in barefooted. So, there was no doubt, from this sort of reservoir. It was circular, and it was fifteen feet across. It was about seven and a half feet deep, in a circle, sort of this brass bowl kind of an affair, that held about fifteen thousand gallons of water. They probably, and no doubt, had little faucets and all, coming out from it, so that the priests would come up, and wash their hands, and wash their feet. They wouldn’t get in and swim, or you know bathe that way, but they would just wash their hands and their feet before entering into the temple area. This was a hands breadth thick.
The brass was thick as a hands breadth, and the edge of it was [Sort of over, over the top,] like a cup (7:26).
Coming over the top. So you have a rim, over the top of this thing. It was the, called the sea of brass.
Now they then made twelve brass oxen. They set these oxen, three facing each direction of the compass. Three were facing towards the east, three towards the west, three towards the north, and three towards the south. The brass laver sat on top of these oxen. So, this is in the courtyard outside of the temple. The people could see this brass laver, in which the priests would take the water for their bathing. They could see the oxen on which it set, that was on the outer court. Of course those things that were within the temple, only the priests could see. The common person did not go into the temple to worship God. The priests would go into the temple, and only the priests.
And he made then ten bases of brass (7:27);
Then he made these, and it describes those. As again, I say as you get into it, it gets laborious. And they made these brass wheels, and they set these ten bases, which held about um, three hundred and fifty gallons of water each, that were sort of ornamentation along the sides, both sides. Five on each side. Then they were all made out of the same casting, so they were similar.
Hiram made [Then all of the other things that were needed for the sacrifices. Verse forty.] the lavers, the shovels, the basins. And he made an end of all of the things that were to be used for [And the house.] king Solomon for the house of the Lord (7:40):
So the things were all set up, and it describes the whole thing. There was so much brass that they didn’t even make an estimate of its weight. I mean, it must have been just extremely heavy. If you can imagine a brass uh, bowl kind of a thing, fifteen feet across. With the thickness about four inches, a hands breadth, uh the weight of it must have been tremendous! And it said…
They left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out. Then Solomon made all of the vessels that pertained to the house of the Lord (7:47-48):
Those things that went inside. These of course were made of gold. Once you enter into the temple, you’re entering into the figure of heaven. Gold is always the metal that is symbolic of the heavenly scene. Brass, a metal of judgement. Silver, the metal of redemption. Judas betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver, and in the tabernacle there was the silver sockets, and so forth. It is a metal of redemption. Gold the metal that speaks symbolically of heaven. So, once you enter into the temple, you’re entering into the model of the heavenly scene. We are told in the new testament, that the tabernacle was actually a model of heaven. The temple was built after the model of the tabernacle, only about twice as big. So…
They made the altar of gold. [That is the altar where the incense was offered, that stood before the holy place. Then,] The table of gold, where they placed the shew bread. [The twelve loaves of bread, each one representing a tribe. Then,] The candlesticks of pure gold, and five on the right side, and five on the left, [Whereas in the tabernacle, there was only the one candlestick, uh, Solomon had five there within the temple. Then,] the lamps, and the tongs of gold, the bowls, the snuffers, the basins, the spoons, and the censers were of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, for the doors of the house, to wit, the temple. And so was ended all of the work that king Solomon made for the house of the Lord. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, the gold, and the vessels, he did put among the treasures of the house of the Lord (7:48-51).
So, complete. Now it’s time for dedication.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all of the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, they came unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is in Zion (8:1).
Now, this is the tabernacle, or David had built a, a place, erected a tent for the ark of the covenant, when he returned it to Jerusalem. But now this solemn occasion, where they’re going to move the ark of the covenant from this place that David had prepared for it. They’re going to bring it now on into the temple, and set it within the Holy of Holies, there between these two golden cherubim.
So, as you would enter this cubicle, the Holy of Holies, this golden cubicle, from the holy place of the temple. As you would enter directly in front of you would be, uh against the back wall, would be the cherubim that were carved out of gold. Their wings touching each other, and extending out to the walls. The wing span of each of them being fifteen feet, the room is a thirty foot cube. Then the ark of the covenant is to be set in front of that, and this is the place of meeting God. This is the model of the heavenly things. The cherubim are representing the cherubim that are about the throne of God, in Ezekiel’s chapter, one and ten, and in Revelation, chapter four. So, you get now the picture of the heavenly scene, as the priest would come in, the high priest, into the Holy of Holies, on that one day of the year, to offer before God, the sacrifices of the sins of the nation.
Now, this was taking place during the feast of the tabernacles. Now, quite conceivably, gathered together at this feast would be almost one million men. When David took the census of Israel, there were almost a million men capable of going to war. Now, that didn’t take into consideration the older men, who were not capable, or those that for physical reasons, were not capable of going to war. There was about a million men capable of going to battle. There was the requirement of the law that these men of Israel, present themselves three times a year before God. If they were in a far country where they could not present themselves, then they would have to get there as soon as they could. But, it means that there is probably a million men, gathered for this awesome occasion, as they are dedicating now, this temple unto the Lord. As they are going to begin the whole process by bringing the ark of the covenant on in, and placing it there in the Holy of Holies.
And so the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, [Which of course, is the month of October.] which is the seventh month. [Of the Jewish calendar, but the tenth month of ours.] And all of the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all of the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up (8:2-4).
So, those furnishings that came from the tabernacle in the wilderness, were brought, but now they were more or less, museum pieces for Solomon had created the new table of shew bread, and the new candlesticks, and all.
And king Solomon, and all of the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, that were with him before the ark, they were sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told or numbered for multitude. [I mean there was just sacrifices all the way along. You remember when David finally brought the ark of the covenant back, he did so with great sacrifices. They’d go so far, and they’d offer sacrifices, they’d go so far, and offer more sacrifices. So, they followed that pattern in bringing, from down the hill of Offel, down below, on up to the temple site area, the ark of the covenant, to place it within the temple.] And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord into his place, into the oracle [Or the Holy of Holies.] at the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims (8:5-6).
So, it was set there, under the wings of the cherubim.
For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And they drew the staves out, [Now they didn’t touch the ark of the covenant. You remember, they had these rings on it, and they would put these sticks that were covered with gold, the staves, through the rings. Then they would carry the ark of the covenant between them, holding these staves, and the ark of the covenant would be between them, so that they wouldn’t touch the ark of the covenant. So once they set it down in the temple, it’s sort of in its permanent place now, so they drew out the staves.] that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place [So, probably under the curtain, you could see the ends of these two staves, the golden staves, that they used to carry the ark of the covenant. The author said,] they are there unto this day (8:7-8).
Whenever it was that he wrote this.
Now there was nothing in the ark except for the two tables of stone (8:9),
Now originally, in the ark, they had placed two tables of stone, which represents God’s covenant with them. The law, the two tables of stone, in which God inscribed the law. There was placed a golden jar of manna, to remind them of God’s provision, miraculously, through the wilderness, by which they were preserved in their forty years of wandering. Then, in order that God might establish the priesthood, with the house of Aaron, the rod of Aaron, that was set out before the Lord, that had blossomed and bud, they put that in the ark of the covenant.
When the Philistines took the ark of the covenant, they probably ripped off the golden jar, that had the manna in it. Somewhere along the line, the rod that Aaron had, also disappeared. So, at this time, when the ark of the covenant is brought, they had just the two tables of stone. Now, you remember when the ark of the covenant first came back from the Philistines, when they came to Bethshemish, the men of Bethshemish looked into it, probably to see if the tablets were still there, and if the golden bowl was still there, and if the rod was still there. Of course, those men who looked in, paid for it with their lives.
But, evidently the Philistines had taken the golden jar. For at this point, all that was left, and of course, the Philistines see a couple stones, but who wants those, you know. They left that, didn’t see any value to that. But the golden bowl in which was the manna, was taken.
Now, the ark of the covenant, no doubt does exist, even to the present day, somewhere. Of course, if it could be found, to me one of the most exciting things that a person could ever view, would be those two tables of stone, upon which God Himself inscribed the law. But that’s the condition it was in when Solomon brought it and set it in beneath the wings of the cherubim.
And it came to pass when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the glory of God filled the house of the Lord, the cloud. [The Shekinah.] So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord (8:10-11).
Even as the tabernacle when it was dedicated, God’s presence represented in the cloud, came down and settled on the tabernacle. So now in the dedication of the temple, where the cloud, God’s presence, comes down, and He manifests His presence in this cloud. The glory of God, so powerful, so great, that the priests could not stand to minister. Just, no doubt, were there over awed by the presence of God’s glory, as they were there in the house of the Lord.
Now Solomon first of all, addresses the people in verses twelve, to twenty one.
Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. And I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever (8:12-13).
Rather than the tent, the tabernacle that was moved, as they went about in the wilderness. Wherever they would camp, they would set up the tabernacle. But it was being moved all the time. Now a permanent place, the temple, where we can set now the ark of the covenant and it might abide here in this settled place.
And the king turned about, and he blessed all the congregation of Israel: [The tremendous multitudes of people that were there.] (and all of the congregation of Israel stood;) And he said, Blessed be Jehovah God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hands fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all of the tribes of Israel to build a house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. And it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And the Lord said unto David my father, Whereas it was in your heart to build a house unto my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son that shall come forth out of your loins, shall build the house unto my name. And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, I sit upon the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein in the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt (8:14-21).
So he talks to the people and he says, “God has kept his word. He made the promise to David, my father, that David would have a son, who would come out of his own loins. Who would be raised up after David, and this son would build the temple. So, God has performed His word”. So basically he is talking to the people about the faithfulness of God, in keeping His word. “He made the promise to my father, He has kept His word. As you look today, at this temple, this house that has been built, it stands here as a memorial to the faithfulness of God, in keeping His promise.”
Now, he said, “My father had it in his heart to do this”. He delicately did not say why God would not allow his father to do it. Respectfully, he didn’t talk about his father’s bloody past. Just, God said, “Okay David, inasmuch as it was in your heart to do it, that’s counted”.
You know God looks on our heart. God knows the desires of our heart. It is good for me to know, that if my heart is right, God sees my heart, and God accounts the things that is in my heart to do. I’m not always able to do all that is in my heart to do. Sometimes it’s just a lack of ability. Sometimes it’s a lack of opportunity. But it’s in my heart to do this for the Lord. The Lord said, “As long as it was in his heart, that’s good. It’s accounted unto him”. Really, because it was in his heart to do. It was just something that God could not allow him to do. So God has kept His word.
Now, as Solomon begins his prayer, you see, he’s first of all talking to the people about the Lord, and as he talks to the people about the Lord, he is talking to them about the faithfulness of the Lord. “He keeps His promises, He keeps His word. He performs that which He said he would do.” God’s faithfulness to His word, is the theme of his message, concerning God, to the people.
Now he turns to talk to God, concerning the people. As he talks to God concerning the people, we find that he is standing there before the altar of the Lord. This would be the brazen altar of sacrifice, out in the courtyard, where all the people could see him. He was on an elevated platform there, so that the people could see him. And he turned to talk to the Lord, and he knelt then on his knees, and spread forth his hands towards heaven. So you can get a picture now, of Solomon, the thousands upon thousands of people gathered, and he kneels before God, lifts his hands towards heaven, and as he begins speaking to God, he again, acknowledges the faithfulness of God, in keeping His word.
He said, Jehovah God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keeps the covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: [“No God like thee. You keep your covenant, you keep the mercy.”] For thou hast kept with thy servant David my father that which you promisedst him: you spoke also with your mouth, and you have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is this day (8:23-24).
“We see before us, the evidence Lord, of your faithfulness in keeping your word. As you spoke to my father, you’ve done it as we can see, here before us today.”
Therefore now, Jehovah God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which you promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as you have walked before me. And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which you spoke to [David] your servant David my father (8:25-26).
“So, Lord you’ve promised that from David there would be one sitting upon the throne, and we ask you to keep that word also.” Which of course, He will in Christ, when Jesus returns again. But now, thinking of the temple…
But will God indeed dwell on earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built (8:27)?
Many people had narrow concepts of God. They had thought of God in locality. When the children of Israel were fighting against their enemies, they defeated their enemies in a battle in the valley, and so their enemies said, “Well their god is probably the god of the valleys. Let’s meet them next time on the hills.” The next time they met on the hills, Israel defeated them again. They found out that He’s the God of the hills, as well as the God of the valleys. But people often thought of God, as far as locality.
You remember even when Jonah was called to go to Nineveh. It said, he went down to Joppa and got shipped to Tarsus to hide from the presence of the Lord. He thought if he could get to Tarsus, he would you know, God doesn’t extend that far. But David, realized the infinity of God. “Where shall I flee from thy presence?”, David said. “If I ascend into heaven, thou art there, if I descend into hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and I flee to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there you surround me.” Aware of the fact that God fills all of the universe. Solomon acknowledges this and, “Here we’ve built a house, but Lord we realize that the earth cannot contain you, not even the heaven of the heavens can contain you. How much less this house that we have built”.
So Solomon is making sure that the Lord knows, that he doesn’t have a limited concept of Him, thinking that God is just going to be confined to this house. “But this is just”, he said, “A place Lord, where your people can call upon you, and meet you”.
So have respect unto the prayer of your servant, and to his supplication, Jehovah my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer, which your servant prays before you this day: That your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which you have said, My name shall be there: that you will hearken unto the prayer which your servant shall make toward this place. And hearken to the supplication of your servant, and of the people of Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when you hear, forgive (8:28-39).
“Now Lord, this is going to be the place that in our hearts and minds, represents where we meet you. So when we are in trouble and we turn towards this place, and cry out, Lord you hear from your dwelling place, in heaven, and answer the needs and the prayers of your people.” Now he envisions seven different situations that might drive the people to pray. In each of these situations, when they are driven to prayer, and, “When they come to you, then Lord, hear and answer”.
So if any man trespasses against his neighbor, an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before your altar in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge your servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; [“When people take an oath, by the temple, then Lord, if the guy does wrong, you know, bring the judgement on him.”] that you might justify the righteous, and give him according to his righteousness. Now when the people of Israel are smitten before their enemies, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication to thee in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, bring them again unto the land which you gave unto their fathers (8:31-34).
So, “In the day in which the people, your people, are defeated before their enemies”, and defeat, he acknowledges will come through sin, moral weakness of the nation will bring them into defeat, “Lord, in their time of defeat, if they call upon you, then hear, and answer”.
When heaven is shut up, there’s no rain, because they have sinned against thee; [And notice he acknowledges that these calamities all come, as the result of the people sinning against God. A drought.] if they pray toward this place, confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when you have afflicted them: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, that you teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to the people for an inheritance. If there be famine, pestilence, a blasting, mildew, and locust, or the caterpillar; and if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, [whosoever sickness there be, or,] whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all of the people of Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, [“Now if plagues come into the land Lord, it’s because of the plague that’s in the person’s heart”, which of course is sin.] when they spread forth their hands towards this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, give to every man according to his ways, whose heart you know; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all of the children of men (8:35-39);)
Awesome isn’t it? God knows what’s in your heart. That’s something even I don’t always know. Because the heart is deceitful, and desperately wicked, the Lord said, “Who can know it? But I, the Lord, do search the heart.” Here Solomon acknowledges, “God, the plague that is in the heart of the people, can cause the plagues in the land. When that happens God, and the people turn to you, and pray, hear thou from heaven, and heal”.
That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which you have given to our fathers. Moreover concerning the stranger, [Now, this is interesting. It is not until later that the Jews became so clannish. During the time of the law, God, in the law made tremendous provisions for the strangers. For He said, “Remember that you were strangers in Egypt”. So God commanded that the strangers be given certain rights and privileges, and certain respect. Solomon realizing the magnificence of this temple, it would no doubt attract strangers from all over the world, who would come to see the glory and the magnificence of this temple. As we said, it is estimated that there was some seventy five thousand pounds of gold, used in the overlaying of the wood. Thus it was just one gorgeous building. “And when strangers come”,] who are not of your people Israel, but come from far countries for your name’s sake (8:40-41);
Now, of course, it wasn’t long before the queen of Sheba came that long distance to visit Solomon, because she’d heard of the glory of his kingdom.
(For they shall hear of your great name, and of your strong hand, and of your stretched out arms;) when the stranger shall come and pray toward this house; Hear thou in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calls to thee for: that all of the people of the earth may know your name, and reverence thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name (8:42-43).
“So Lord, even when the strangers come, and they pray unto you in this place, hear them Lord, answer their prayers, that they may know that you are God. They might understand.”
And if your people go out to battle against their enemies, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which you have chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name: Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. If they sin against thee, [And notice, he recognizes] for there is no man that sinneth not,) [The bible says, “There is none righteous, no not one”.] and you’re angry with them, and you deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; If they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; And so [return unto thee,] and they return to you with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which you have led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause (8:44-49),
“Lord if they’re carried away captive, and there in their captivity, they pray and confess their sin, and all, then Lord, hear and answer.” Now, we remember the story of Daniel. The prayer of Daniel, is quite interesting in light of what Solomon has prayed here. It probably indicates Daniel’s great knowledge of the scripture. In Daniel, chapter nine, verse three, he speaks about, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, “Oh Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps the covenant of mercy”. Remember Solomon had made mention of God keeping the covenant of mercy. “To them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments. We have sinned. We have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled by departing from your precepts, and from your judgements. Neither have we hearkened unto your servants, the prophets, which spoke in your name, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all of the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces as it is this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to all of Israel that are near”. And so forth.
But he, he follows this pattern that Solomon had given, and of course, earlier on when Darius had made the um decree, that no one could pray to any king, except Darius, for a period of time. Then Daniel, of course the whole decree was a set up to trap Daniel. When Daniel knew that the king had signed the decree, Daniel went to his home, and he opened the uh, windows towards Jerusalem, and prayed unto the Lord. So um, he, Solomon said, “If they turn towards this place and pray, here, hear the prayer and their supplication in heaven, your dwelling place, maintain their cause.”
Forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, [give them compassion] and give them compassion before them who carried them away captive, [“Let those who took them captive, be compassionate upon them.”] that they may have compassion on them: For they be [they are] your people, and your inheritance, which you brought forth our of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: That your eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of your people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee. For you did separate them from among the people of the earth, to be your inheritance, as you spoke by the hand of Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Jehovah God (8:50-53).
So this prayer of Solomon, as he is dedicating the temple, and asking God to meet His people there. When they have failed, and through sin experienced calamities, when they would turn to God, that God would hear, and that God would maintain their cause.
And so when Solomon had made an end of the praying and the supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar [From kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.] and he stood, [And now again, turning to the people,] he blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord, that has given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there has not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant (8:54-56).
So acknowledging now the faithfulness of God once more. When he speaks to the people in the beginning it’s on the subject of the faithfulness of God, to keep His word. When he turns to speak to God, he acknowledges the faithfulness of God, in keeping His promises. Now, turning to the people once again, the theme is the faithfulness of God. “Not one good word has failed, of all that you’ve promised.” God has not failed in keeping His word that He gave to Moses, some four hundred and ninety years earlier! God had promised Moses that He would bring them into the land, and would give them rest in the land. So, Solomon speaks of the rest that they would have. “You’ve kept all that you have promised, because you have given rest unto your people, Israel, according to your promise.”
In Leviticus, twenty six, the Lord said, “And I will place my sanctuary in the midst of them”. And here now is the temple in the midst of the people of Israel, who have congregated together, God’s people. “Lord you have kept your promise. Not one word has failed, of all that you have promised.”
This is true to the present day. We can look around at the world in which we live. Some three thousand years, almost have passed by since Solomon made this declaration. We’re within ten years, of three thousand years ago. Some two thousand, nine hundred and ninety one years ago, Solomon made this declaration. “Not one word has failed of all that you said.” Three thousand years later, as we look around the world in which we live, and we see the things that have been transpiring in this world in which we live, once again, we can look around, and we can say, “Not one word has failed, of all which God spake He was going to do”. Up to this point, up to this moment in history, God has kept His promise. God has kept His word completely.
That should bring great comfort to the child of God. God keeps His promises, God keeps His word. Not one word will fail of all that He has promised. It should cause great concern to those who are not children of God, because God has spoken of the judgement that shall come upon them. You can be sure, not one word will fail of all that He has promised, to the ungodly. The faithfulness of God, to keep His word. This was the whole theme of Solomon, on the prayer of dedication.
The temple stands as a witness to God’s keeping His word. They will soon build another temple in Jerusalem. God’s word speaks about it. Gives us the dimensions. After that new temple is built, again you’ll be able to stand there and say, “Wow! Look, here it is! Not one word has failed of all which God said he was gonna do!”. God keeps His word, God keeps His covenant. I find great comfort in that tonight. Then he prayed, or he said to the people…
Jehovah our God be with us as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: That we might incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all of his ways, to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgements, which he commanded our fathers. And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he may maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, at all times, as the matter shall require (8:57-59):
“As things come up, that God will maintain, or stand with us.”
That all the people of the earth may know that Jehovah is God, and that there is none else. Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, at this day (8:60-61).
They see the glory cloud, the presence of God coming down, and filling the temple. It’s an awesome A day of great spiritual experience. The power of God is manifested before them. moment, as they become conscious of God, and of the presence of God. Solomon is encouraging them to remain in this kind of a consciousness. “That you might be obedient unto God, and you might keep the words that He’s commanded. That you might keep this consciousness, that God dwells among His people.
One of the greatest needs, I think that we have today, is that need for the consciousness of the presence of God. If I were truly conscious that God’s presence was with me, that would have a greater incentive for my walking in a holy, righteous way, than anything else. Once in a while I have an embarrassing experience of coming upon someone in the church who is, well, like the other night at a restaurant. Some of the guys I saw some guys from the church, at the Italian restaurant, and they had some beer. And they would like to have crawled under the table! But who am I, that, that should trouble them? You know, if they can drink beer in the presence of God, why should they be so worried about me seeing it?
That awareness, that consciousness, that in Him, we live, we move, we have our being. Solomon is exhorting the people, that they might maintain, “As you have even now at this moment, as we stand here and we see the glory of God, and this awesome occasion, when our minds and all, are centered and focused upon God. And we’re experiencing this dynamic of God’s presence among us. May this be a continual thing. May we not lose the sense of God’s presence, in the midst of His people”.
Thus that you might be perfect with the Lord our God, that you might keep his statutes [and all] even as you are this day. And then the king and all of Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, [Which was the communion. “Lord we’re just here to commune with you.] which he offered to the Lord, there were twenty two thousand oxen, a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord (8:60-63).
Now this is after the sacrifices that they offered, bringing the ark of the covenant up into the house.
The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court [He said, “This is hallow ground here in the middle of the court”, because the brazen altar wasn’t big enough to offer all these sacrifices. So they just did it there in the whole courtyard. They hallowed the whole thing, the whole place is hallowed before God. You know, you can offer,] the burnt offerings, the meal offerings, the peace offerings: because the brazen altar that was before the Lord was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and the meal offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings. And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all of Israel with, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before Jehovah our God, seven days and another seven days, even for fourteen days. And on the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went to their tents joyfully and glad of heart for all of the goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people (8:64-66).
Ah! How glorious it is, when we assemble together, and we are conscious of God, and the power of God. We experience the touch of God’s love in our heart, and the work of His Holy Spirit, and we’re just sort of supercharged, from a spiritual standpoint. So that as we go, God has been moving in our midst, we feel the presence of God. We go joyful and glad in our hearts, for the goodness of the Lord, that He has shown unto His people. Really, that’s the way we should always leave this place. Just joyful hearts, glad for God’s goodness, and His blessings, and making possible our opportunity of gathering to share in His love, as we grow in grace and in knowledge of Him. God is good. God will keep His word to his people. Not one word will fail of all that God has promised unto us. So, as we go, we should go with joyful hearts. Glad, because God is so good. Shall we pray.
Father, we thank You for this privilege again of looking at Your word, and seeing how You established your place among the people. Father we pray that You will establish Your place, within our hearts. For we realize Lord, that our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in us. We are not our own. We’ve been bought with a price. Help us Lord, to glorify You in our body and in our spirit, which is Yours. Lord how awesome to realize that the heavens of heavens, cannot contain thee, and yet Lord, you have chosen to dwell within our hearts. We pray that Jesus Christ might settle down and make Himself at home, in each of our hearts tonight. That we might be very aware Lord, of your nearness, of Your presence, that we might walk perfect towards You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Later on the Lord is going to speak to king Asa, through the prophet, declaring that the eyes of the Lord go to and fro throughout the entire earth, to show Himself strong, on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him. God is looking for people through which He can work. God wants to do a work today in our community, in our nation. God uses individuals to do His work, as instruments. God is looking for instruments to use. “The eyes of the Lord are going to and fro throughout the entire earth, that He might show Himself strong, on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards Him”. O God, help us this week, that our hearts might be brought into a complete commitment of ourselves unto the work of the Lord. To do that which He desires, that we might be His instruments. Bringing His love, His word, and His hope to this world in which we live. May God anoint you and make you His instrument, in Jesus’ name. Praise the Lord! God bless you!
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7105