1 Kings 8-10…God’s presence and character.
The dedication of God’s temple in these chapters is something like a ribbon-cutting event, with one notable distinction: the occupant of the building shows up and steals the show. Scripture tells us that Solomon gathered the leaders of Israel at Jerusalem to bring the ark of the covenant into the temple. In fact, the ark’s centrality is underscored by its eight references. This dedication party was ostensibly about the temple, but Scripture makes it clear that it was really about God’s presence. Lest the reader wonder about this emphasis, the centerpiece of the passage describes the climax: the priests withdrew, the cloud descended, and the glory of the Lord filled his temple. So overwhelming was God’s presence that the priests could not perform their service. As promised, God had come in glory to dwell with His people.
Of equal importance in this section is the focus on God’s character. Solomon’s speech to the assembly emphasized God’s fulfillment of His promises to David. Just as God had said that it would not be David, but David’s son, who would build the temple for my Name, so it had happened. Solomon summarized it simply, but accurately: “The Lord has kept the promise he made” (1 Kings 8:20). God does what He says He will do; that is the thrust of Solomon’s speech to Israel.
What promises of God do you struggle to believe? That He cares for you more than the sparrows (Matt. 6:26) and will turn all things to your spiritual good (Rom. 8:28)? That He will not abandon you (Heb. 13:5)? That He will one day come again in glory to claim His own (1 Thess. 4:13-18)? Take a hard, honest look at your own heart today to see where you might not be trusting in God’s word of promise. Ask Him for forgiveness and for the grace to start living with trust in His faithfulness.