1 Kings 8

* The dedication of the temple. (1-11) The occasion. (12-21)

Solomon's prayer. (22-53) His blessing and exhortation. (54-61)

Solomon's peace-offerings. (62-66)

1-11 The bringing in the ark, is the end which must crown the

work: this was done with great solemnity. The ark was fixed in

the place appointed for its rest in the inner part of the house,

whence they expected God to speak to them, even in the most holy

place. The staves of the ark were drawn out, so as to direct the

high priest to the mercy-seat over the ark, when he went in,

once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that they continued

of use, though there was no longer occasion to carry it by them.

The glory of God appearing in a cloud may signify, 1. The

darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the light of

the gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, as in a glass,

the glory of the Lord. 2. The darkness of our present state, in

comparison with the sight of God, which will be the happiness of

heaven, where the Divine glory is unveiled.
12-21 Solomon encouraged the priests, who were much astonished

at the dark cloud. The dark dispensations of Providence should

quicken us in fleeing for refuge to the hope of the gospel.

Nothing can more reconcile us to them, than to consider what God

has said, and to compare his word and works together. Whatever

good we do, we must look on it as the performance of God's

promise to us, not of our promises to him.
22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do in

every prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of the

truth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues for

grace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God's

performing his promises, should encourage us to depend upon

them, and to plead them with him; and those who expect further

mercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promises

must be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopes

and expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and the

whole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer's

offices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, was

continually to be remembered. Under one word, "forgive," Solomon

expressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, as

all misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the way

for the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good.

Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition to

the teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lord

himself to teach the people to profit by all, even by their

chastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his own

heart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their hands

in prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body or

mind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seem

especially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; our

in-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every true

Israelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them,

and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to his

knees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer.

After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the general

request, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place,

now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towards

it. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, it

shall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God is

established and sanctified, the backslider is recovered and

healed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourner

is comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause of

all our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all human

happiness.
54-61 Never was a congregation dismissed with what was more

likely to affect them, and to abide with them. What Solomon asks

for in this prayer, is still granted in the intercession of

Christ, of which his supplication was a type. We shall receive

grace sufficient, suitable, and seasonable, in every time of

need. No human heart is of itself willing to obey the gospel

call to repentance, faith, and newness of life, walking in all

the commandments of the Lord, yet Solomon exhorts the people to

be perfect. This is the scriptural method, it is our duty to

obey the command of the law and the call of the gospel, seeing

we have broken the law. When our hearts are inclined thereto,

feeling our sinfulness and weakness, we pray for Divine

assistance; thus are we made able to serve God through Jesus

Christ.
62-66 Solomon offered a great sacrifice. He kept the feast of

tabernacles, as it seems, after the feast of dedication. Thus

should we go home, rejoicing, from holy ordinances, thankful for

God's Goodness

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