1 Kings 8

This chapter records the dedication of the temple, and Solomon's prayer.

Note some things about his prayer.

Solomon speaks of the house he built for the name of the Lord. The book of Hebrews tells us that Christ, our greater tan Solomon, built a house for the God's glory.

Christ is our King who acts as our priest also, as he prays for us even today. John 7.

Notice that a large part of Christ's prayer was for His people, us, not for Himself. Most of Solomon's prayer was for his people.

Notice the regression of Solomon's prayer.

Vv. 29, 30, there is no mention of sin, yet pray toward this place and sin would be forgiven. This would be secret, unknown faults.

V. 31, the prayer changes to If any man trespass. Then the prayer is In this house.

A) people are still in the land.

V. 33, changes to when thy people be smitten down before their enemies because of sin, they are to pray in this house.

A) again, they are still in the land, only their sin has caused the Lord to give them and their land to their enemies. They are now servants to their enemies in their own land. The book of Judges is a good example.

Vv. 35, 36, heaven shut, and no rain because of sin. God uses nature to judge His people. Judgment has come in the form in drought. The call is for repentance and prayer toward this place.

A) The Lord shut heaven up in order to teach them the good way wherein they should walk.

Sad to say, man, even Christians, is determined to remain in his sin and hardness, and it takes sometimes many hard lessons to get him to walk in the ways of the Lord.

Thus, the purpose of judgment, even judgment on the unsaved, is to teach people to walk in His good way.

Vv. 37-40, sin results in famine, pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, caterpillar, enemies, plague, sickness.

a) v. 38, sin is from the plague that is in the hearts of men.

b) prayer: toward this house.

c) they are still in the land, and God is dealing with them through the above, so that they may fear God all they days they live in the land. (V. 40.)

V. 38, the v. 37, evil plagues in the land are only a result of the plagues of men's hearts. The physical plagues are a call to repent of the spiritual plagues, and ask for forgiveness from the Lord.

His own iniquity; {#Ps 18:23} the cause of his calamity; as he well understandeth, when sin and wrath meet in the soul, and make a wound in it: the cure whereof he seeketh of God by prayer, which hath a pacifying property, and fetcheth out the stain and sting of sin. (Trapp)


V. 39, however, repentance must be real, or there will be no healing: The prayer is for the Lord to give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest...

Though the Lord knows the inherit weakness and evil of man's heart, it does not prevent the evils of V. 37 coming upon him. Psalms 103:14 tells us that the Lord knows our weaknesses, and He remembers that we are but dust. Yet remembering the weakness of our flesh and the bend toward sin, He does not overlook sin. Rather than giving the justly deserved restitution for sin, He, in His mercy, offers longsuffering and provides redemption for those who fear Him.

More often than not, rather than God's mercy and longsuffering leading to repentance and redemption, it leads to further hardening into sin.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Sadly, Solomon was a good example of what happened when men take advantage of God's mercy and goodness.

V. 40, the plagues and difficulties of vv. 37-39 are to call men back to God, so that they will fear him and live at peace with Him within the promises He gave to the fathers of our faith. 1 Corinthians 10:1.

Vv. 41-43, concerning the stranger that hears of the mighty works of Israel's God and prays toward this house.

God answers strangers not because of any covenant with them as He made with Israel, but that all the people of the earth may know his name and fear him.

1) here we have an implication that God will hear the prayers of the unsaved out of His mercy, so that His name may be glorified.

2) here we also see that we cannot base assurance of salvation upon answered prayer: "I had this prayer answered, so I must be saved!"

Vv. 44, 45, goes back to the people. The Lord sends them into battle. As they go into battle, they are to pray, and the Lord will maintain their cause, and give the victory.

V. 46, they went into battle at the Lord's command, but because of sin, they are defeated, and carried away captive into a strange land.

It reads as though the Lord sent them into battle. He then used the enemy to judge them for their sins by allowing the enemy to defeat them, and carry them away even into a far land.

Vv. 47, 48, is a call to repent of the sin that caused them to be defeated in the battle the Lord sent them into.

They are to make supplication (beg, plead, implore, basic, groan) to the Lord toward their land from which they were taken. They are to pray from the depths of their being, not just from their mouths, and confess, We have sinned, done perversely, committed wickedness.

There is much more called for here than just confessing their evil ways that cost them their freedom, but they must return with all their heart and soul (Mark 12:30ff., Luke 10:27) no matter where in the world they have been carried into captivity. (Proverbs 28:13, 14.)

V. 49, the Lord is asked to maintain their cause, the same as in v. 45. However, in v. 45, they were victorious over their enemies, but here they have been defeated, and are captive.

V. 50, catches our attention. Notice that though they repent, confess and ask for and receive forgiveness for the sins that caused them to be carried away, and even change their manner of living to walk in the ways of the Lord, there is no promise that the Lord will return them to their land. The promise is that the Lord will give them compassion, or tender mercies, from their "masters."

In other words, genuine repentance and forgiveness does not mean we can nor will be delivered from the results of our sins. How many have we met that felt that changed lives would change the results of their past sins? God makes no such promise. Rather, He promises to provide the grace and strength to see us through the results of the sins that we made right with God and with man.

Solomon's prayer started out with unknown sins, and repentance and prayers toward the house of the Lord in their own land.

The prayer ends with known sins, and repentance and prayers toward the land they had been given, while in the land of their enemies.

As do people of all ages, the people knew what the results of their sins would be—they heard it from
Solomon and had it written down to see, but they still went down the sin road. Why do we do such things when we are told and we know what the results will be?

It comes back to the bend toward sin.

Why did the people go astray anyway?
Why do we go astray with our sins when we have the results recorded for us to see?
I think the best answer is back in my notes on 1 Kings 7 (6).

We in our wisdom (intellect, human inelegance or horse sense really) realize it is true, We can even see the results of sin taking place, but our pride (of life, lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes) prevent us from doing anything about it, and from claiming God's grace.

V. 38, the plagues that come upon us are simply the plagues of our own hearts getting us into our problems. The root of our problem in our own hearts, and we need to be aware of that problem.

We need to seek to know our own hearts by sincerely asking the Lord to reveal what He alone knows is there:

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Otherwise, we will remain in bondage to the enemy.


V. 54, 55, the prayer ended, Solomon arises from his public display of prayer before the altar, and stands and blesses the people. He said with a loud voice that the Lord has accomplished everything he promised to Moses. (1000 BC) See also Joshua 21:44, 45, 21:45, 23:14, 15, which tell us the same thing. Upon entrance into the land, the Lord fulfilled the promise He made to give the people the land. The promise has been fulfilled, and thus it is an act of unbelief to look for another filling of the promise.

V. 58. That He may incline our hearts unto him... Again, there is no promise of restoration to the land they lost. There is no promise of restoration to the life one had before the results of sin came upon us.

HE is the one who must put the desire in our hearts.

V. 61, we are the ones that put the desires into action.

God does not use robots. He gives the desire, and when we chose to obey, He gives the power to obey the desire He placed in us..

It is all of Him. Man's fallen nature is totally depraved. Therefore, the natural man has no desire to please Him. Man may desire to do good, but all good does not please God.

Good desire while still in unforgiven sin?

Selfish desires: I may desire to raise a million dollars to fight MD, but is it to glorify God, or is it to make a name for myself, or even to ease my conscience?

The only thing that will please Him must be put there by His Spirit, and we act upon that desire by the Power of His Spirit. There is no way that anything done outside of Christ can please God. Remember, God in His mercy may hear and answer the stranger's prayers.

However, there can be many "good works" done for mankind, and God could even help accomplish those things, because he does not want to see mankind suffer any more than we do. But as far as going toward man's eternal account, only what is done for and through Christ will last. (1 Corinthians 3:12.)

Whatever God gives the will to do, He will give the power to do it, but the choice to move on the desire is ours.

Note that even the flesh will desire to "do good," but all "good" is not necessarily Godly good.


V. 64, he offered burnt offerings...

King Solomon here did the part of the priest.
Saul's sin was not in offering the burnt offering, but unbelief. He did not obey the word of the Lord as given by Samuel to wait upon Samuel before making the offering.