Highlights In Today's Reading:
This is one of the magnificent worship chapters of the Bible. For a more descriptive view read II Chronicles 5:11-14. Visualize the scene — the Ark, all the priests, singers, and musicians with cymbals, psaltries, and harps, along with 120 trumpet players, all are as one, praising and thanking the Lord as His Shekinah glory descends and fills the House so powerfully that the priests cannot stand before it to minister.
This unusually long prayer is given by King Solomon who stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with Thy servants that walk before Thee with all their heart (I Kings 8:22-23). Before his prayer was finished, he was kneeling down upon his knees (II Chronicles 6:13). Hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place . . . that all people of the earth may know Thy Name. . . . That He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His Commandments. . . . That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else (I Kings 8:43,55,58,60).
Solomon proclaimed to the world: There is no God like Thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath (8:23). He said that Jehovah can never be compared with other gods, but He must be recognized as the only living and personal God. He is the source of all physical and spiritual life as well as the power to provide for and protect all who love and honor Him. The need to be cleansed of sin is prominent in this prayer: Cause them to turn from their sin, when Thou afflictest them (8:35). The consciousness of sin and the need for forgiveness held a prominent place in this prayer.
Solomon knew well that there was only one God and that God looked upon the heart, for he emphatically proclaimed: Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God (8:61). The word perfect implies wholeheartedness and single mindedness. God looks upon men's hearts and knows whether or not their prayer is a mere passing emotion or that they have truly turned to Him. We need only turn the pages of history to I Kings, chapter 11 to confirm that truth. What a different picture the history of the kingdom would have been if the reign of Solomon had been as true to the Lord as his marvelous prayer!
We need to search our hearts that it cannot be said of us: This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:8-9).
Thought for Today:
We are never more powerful than when kneeling before God in prayer. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
As the perfect Temple of God before whom all kings of the earth one day must bow (I Kings 8:54; John 2:19-21). Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name (Philippians 2:9-10).
8:2 Ethanim (later called Tishri) =Sept/Oct; 8:37 blasting =blight; 8:47 bethink themselves =learn their lesson and repent.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Rep. Jack Kingston (GA) • Country: Maldives (300,000) 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka • Major languages: Divehi and English • Christian witnessing is banned • 99.9% Muslim; .1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Pray diligently with other believers and God will answer (Acts 12:5-10).
Optional Reading: Acts 25
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:22