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 thework: this was done with great solemnity. The ark was fixed inthe place appointed for its rest in the inner part of the house,whence they expected God to speak to them, even in the most holyplace. The staves of the ark were drawn out, so as to direct thehigh priest to the mercy-seat over the ark, when he went in,once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that they continuedof use, though there was no longer occasion to carry it by them.The glory of God appearing in a cloud may signify, 1. Thedarkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the light ofthe gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, as in a glass,the glory of the Lord. 2. The darkness of our present state, incomparison with the sight of God, which will be the happiness ofheaven, where the Divine glory is unveiled. 12-21 Solomon encouraged the priests, who were much astonishedat the dark cloud. The dark dispensations of Providence shouldquicken us in fleeing for refuge to the hope of the gospel.Nothing can more reconcile us to them, than to consider what Godhas said, and to compare his word and works together. Whatevergood we do, we must look on it as the performance of God'spromise to us, not of our promises to him. 22-53 In this excellent prayer, Solomon does as we should do inevery prayer; he gives glory to God. Fresh experiences of thetruth of God's promises call for larger praises. He sues forgrace and favour from God. The experiences we have of God'sperforming his promises, should encourage us to depend uponthem, and to plead them with him; and those who expect furthermercies, must be thankful for former mercies. God's promisesmust be the guide of our desires, and the ground of our hopesand expectations in prayer. The sacrifices, the incense, and thewhole service of the temple, were all typical of the Redeemer'soffices, oblation, and intercession. The temple, therefore, wascontinually to be remembered. Under one word, "forgive," Solomonexpressed all that he could ask in behalf of his people. For, asall misery springs from sin, forgiveness of sin prepares the wayfor the removal of every evil, and the receiving of every good.Without it, no deliverance can prove a blessing. In addition tothe teaching of the word of God, Solomon entreated the Lordhimself to teach the people to profit by all, even by theirchastisements. They shall know every man the plague of his ownheart, what it is that pains him; and shall spread their handsin prayer toward this house; whether the trouble be of body ormind, they shall represent it before God. Inward burdens seemespecially meant. Sin is the plague of our own hearts; ourin-dwelling corruptions are our spiritual diseases: every trueIsraelite endeavours to know these, that he may mortify them,and watch against the risings of them. These drive him to hisknees; lamenting these, he spreads forth his hands in prayer.After many particulars, Solomon concludes with the generalrequest, that God would hearken to his praying people. No place,now, under the gospel, can add to the prayers made in or towardsit. The substance is Christ; whatever we ask in his name, itshall be given us. In this manner the Israel of God isestablished and sanctified, the backslider is recovered andhealed. In this manner the stranger is brought nigh, the mourneris comforted, the name of God is glorified. Sin is the cause ofall our troubles; repentance and forgiveness lead to all humanhappiness. 54-61 Never was a congregation dismissed with what was morelikely to affect them, and to abide with them. What Solomon asksfor in this prayer, is still granted in the intercession ofChrist, of which his supplication was a type. We shall receivegrace sufficient, suitable, and seasonable, in every time ofneed. No human heart is of itself willing to obey the gospelcall to repentance, faith, and newness of life, walking in allthe commandments of the Lord, yet Solomon exhorts the people tobe perfect. This is the scriptural method, it is our duty toobey the command of the law and the call of the gospel, seeingwe have broken the law. When our hearts are inclined thereto,feeling our sinfulness and weakness, we pray for Divineassistance; thus are we made able to serve God through JesusChrist. 62-66 Solomon offered a great sacrifice. He kept the feast oftabernacles, as it seems, after the feast of dedication. Thusshould we go home, rejoicing, from holy ordinances, thankful forGod's Goodness
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