Can we just talk briefly about the fact that David’s death was never a thing? We’ve read about the deaths and burials of every prominent figure up until this point, but the Bible never mentions much about the death of King David. At the beginning of this book, David was alive still. He was old, yes, but as soon as King Solomon is granted the inheritance of kingship, David just sort of faded out of the text. I know that’s off-topic from this entire chapter, but it is something I’ve been thinking about as I have been reading.
Now, for the dedication of the Temple. What a beautiful prayer Solomon offers up! It takes up almost two pages and gives us a picture of how we continue to pray to the Lord even to this day. Solomon mentions many times that the Lord lives in Heaven, that He can hear our prayers from anywhere, that He listens and answers faithfully to those whose hearts belong to Him. He even says that God hears foreigners who don’t belong to Israel. In all this, however, we have to note that the Temple during this time was the centerpiece in all God’s faithfulness. This grand object, this building that each of us today no longer has access to, was key in getting people to recognize that God is real and approachable. Solomon points out that those who pray “toward” the Temple will be heard by God, and it is in front of the Temple that Solomon hosts a great festival. So what happens when/if the Temple is destroyed? (History tells us soon that this indeed takes place.) Do the Israelites lose that connection? No! Because as Solomon says over and over again in this very chapter, God hears our prayers from His home in Heaven. In subtle ways, this chapter eludes to the fact that God is and has always been accessible anywhere, any time, any place – with or without the Temple. I struggle with the idea of the Temple, actually, but I understand the motivation behind it, and God does, too. The Temple serves as a dedication to the greatness and faithfulness of the Lord, but it does not replace the Lord’s being. I think this is one reason why God allows it to be destroyed in the future. It is no secret that we humans like to idolize and worship beautiful things, things we can see and touch, and we sometimes forget that we can access God anywhere and any place. We don’t have to wait until we go to church to pray to God. We don’t have to be at or turn toward a big, beautiful building in order for God to acknowledge and hear our prayers. Solomon points this out on several occasions and notes that the Temple serves as an offering to the one and only God who has been around forever, rather than the “birthplace” of His presence.
Writing prompt: dedication
Do you have places of dedication? Like, do you only talk to God at certain places during certain times, or do you access Him wherever you are whenever you feel like it? It’s ok to have special places where we connect with God, but we need to always be aware that God doesn’t “live” in those places, and He is accessible from everywhere and anywhere. Write about how and where you feel closest to God. Write Him a letter today and thank Him for those places but also thank Him for being accessible from every nook and cranny in every part of the world.