- 2 Chron. 5:2-14; 6:1-35
- 1 Kings 8:46-53
- 2 Chron. 6:40-42
- 1 Kings 8:54-61
- 2 Chron. 7:1-10
Today’s reading is among my favorite Scripture. Now that the temple construction has been finished Solomon calls an assembly of all the elders of Israel, heads of the tribes, and the chiefs of the Israelite families. He has the ark of the LORD’s covenant brought from Zion to the temple, along with the tabernacle and its furnishings. The ark is brought into the Most Holy Place and the furnishings are setup within the temple. Solomon and the Israelites sacrificed so many sheep and cattle that they could not be counted.
After the priests left the Holy Place, the Levite musicians stood on the east side of the altar and played cymbals, harps and lyres. 120 priests blew trumpets. Then they all sang together with the sound as of one voice, to give praise and thanks to GOD. This singing was accompanied by musical instruments. As this happened, the temple of the LORD was filled with a thick cloud, so that the priests had to stop what they were doing, because the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Then Solomon turned and addressed the assembly, reminding them of the promises GOD had made to David regarding the temple. And Solomon had a platform made out of bronze, which was beside the altar. He stood on the platform with his arms spread and knelt there and prayed:
“LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. 15 You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 16 Therefore, LORD God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father, saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ 17 And now, O LORD God of Israel, let Your word come true, which You have spoken to Your servant David. 18 “But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 19 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You…”
(2 Chron. 6:14-19 NKJV)
Then Solomon prayed for GOD to have mercy upon His people and, when they sinned and He punished them, if they prayed towards the temple, that GOD would remember them and deliver them from their suffering. Solomon concluded this beautiful prayer by saying:
Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place. 41 “Now therefore, Arise, O LORD God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, And let Your saints rejoice in goodness. 42 “O LORD God, do not turn away the face of Your Anointed; Remember the mercies of Your servant David.”
(2 Chron. 6:40-42 NKJV)
Then Solomon stood and blessed the assembly again:
56 “Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers. 59 And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the LORD, be near the LORD our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day may require, 60 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. 61 Let your heart therefore be loyal to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, as at this day.”
(1 Kings 8:54-61 NKJV)
When Solomon finished praying, fire came from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. When the Israelites saw fire coming from heaven, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD. Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the LORD—22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. The festival lasted for 7 days and then the people returned home on the 8th day. They were joyful and glad in heart for the good that the LORD had done for Solomon, David and Israel.