Vs. 1, “Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David.” After the culmination of many years, the presence of the Lord would rest in the temple with the Ark of the Covenant placed in the Most Holy Place (vs. 1-13). Solomon was right in understanding God could not be contained by an earthly dwelling place (vs. 27), but the temple was a temporary place to make His presence known. Just as the President of the United States will make public speeches, Solomon would stand and address the people of Israel. Solomon begins by blessing the people and reminding them of God’s faithful promises (vs. 14-21). He then begins a beautiful dedication prayer (vs. 22-53) that includes prayers for his family, the people, foreigners, and possible future exiles. Solomon then admonished the people to keep their hearts always turned to the Lord (vs. 54-61). The chapter ends with the whole community offering up sacrifices to the LORD (vs. 62-66).
Regarding application…Hope For All. Vs. 60, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.” Question: Isn’t this wonderful? Remember that God had given Solomon wisdom. It was this wisdom that helped Solomon realize the bigger picture. The blessings of Israel would help foster the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). The road to blessings has never been an easy one. But in the midst of the darkness and possible loss of hope, God would bring His one and only son. Hope was not just for Israel. Hope is not just for the church. Hope is for all. As we continue the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, let us remember to testify of the hope we have.