Reading For Thursday 1 Kings 8:54-66; 9:1-9

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When he had finished praying, Solomon rose up and blessed the congregation. Solomon concluded his prayer with a brief exhortation that the people continue to demonstrate the piety and loyalty to God as they had during the building of the temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1 recounts how fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The king and his people celebrated the dedication of the temple with a colossal sacrifice. Solomon consecrated the middle court, the area of the court of priests that was before the house. This was most likely done with holy anointing oil. A great congregation had assembled, and these worshipers joined Solomon in a seven-day feast of dedication that was in turn followed by the seven-day feast of tabernacles. At the conclusion of the celebration, Solomon dismissed the multitude, and the crowd blessed their king.

After Solomon had completed his building projects, the Lord appeared to him a second time. At this point, Solomon was at the height of his prosperity, but this divine word served to remind Solomon of that wonderful devotion that he was in danger of losing. The Lord pledged himself to answer the prayers of his penitent people; he assured Solomon that he had chosen the temple, and he reminded Solomon of the conditional promise made to David. If his descendants were obedient to the Lord, then David’s sons would continue to occupy the throne in Jerusalem. However, if Solomon or any of his children turned from following God, he would dispossess the nation of the land he had given them. Furthermore, the Lord would reject the temple that he had recently acknowledged. The condition of the nation would become so deplorable that people would allude to Israel when they looked for an illustration of irresponsibility and unfaithfulness. If they were unfaithful, the house of God would be a prominent example of the fate that befalls unfaithful people. Those who observed the ruins on the Temple Mount, would hiss and wonder why God would have acted like this toward the land of the temple in this manner. The response would be that Israel had abandoned the God, who had brought them out of Egypt.

Thing To Consider:
* How do you think the people were affected by their king leading in prayer and worship before them?
* What kind of emotions do you think accompanied the blessing that Solomon spoke over his people?
* Why do you think Solomon reminded the people of God's faithfulness in the past?
* Why is obedience so important?
* What do you think the lavish sacrifices of Solomon communicated to the people?
* Why do you think that God reminded Solomon of the conditional promise that he made to David?
* Why do you think he warned Solomon of the consequences of unfaithfulness?
* Why is faithfulness such an important biblical theme?