Adult 1 Sunday School Class January 26, 2020 I Kings 8:54-61
Theme: People often mark the start of new ventures with special ceremonies or observances because they have high hopes for success. How can we know that what we propose to do will succeed? After dedicating the Temple, Solomon prayed for God’s continued faithfulness toward Israel while calling on his people to renew their commitment to God. The interpretation of the verses are in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
I Kings 8:54 “And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the alter of the lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.”
Just prior to Solomon’s Benediction he prays for God people at the dedication of the Temple which he has built for the Lord. In that prayer preceding our lesson, Solomon provides a narrative of the history of God’s people and the Covenant God made with Abraham, Moses’ Exodus leading the people to the Promised Land, he reiterates the promises that God made to their ancestors and is keeping, and the 10 Commandments that God gave to Moses, and the resting place of the stone tablets residing in the Ark of the Covenant. His Benediction following his prayer, he lifts his arms to God as he rises from his kneeling position. He reminds them of how God has taken care of His people, and in return they are to be obedient to His Word. This raising of His arms to God shows respect toward God and the humility of man.
*v. 55, 56, “And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56. Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses his servant.”
Here Solomon praises God for His faithfulness to His promises and has not failed them once. When they possessed Canaan, he promised them rest, which also included a time of peace from their warring neighbors. Under Solomon’s rule they had one of the longest periods of peace with their neighbors.
*v. 57, 58, “The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: 58. That He may incline our hearts unto Him to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers.”
May He do for us what He did for our ancestors, and may He never leave them or forsake them. Solomon prays that God will incline their hearts to Him, and away from idolatry that had infested their land by Solomon marrying foreign women whose religions that they commingled with theirs.
*v. 59, 60, “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 maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: 60. That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.”
Solomon prays for his people and for himself that the Lord does not forget them, and that His people remember what God has done , is doing, and will continue to do through their obedience and faith. He prays that His people will be an example to the world, and that the world will come to know the one true God.
*v. 61, “Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statues, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”
Finally, he prays for His people to be unwavering in their obedience to God; they should lead exemplary lives exhibiting the nature of God for other to see; and to keep His commandments. These are also characteristics of a good Christian today who is steeped in the knowledge and performance of His Word.