Hear…And Forgive

Solomon oversaw the building of the Temple of the LORD. This enormous undertaking, which was begun in the spring of 967 B.C., took seven years to complete. It was an incredible work of art, lovingly crafted and built for the God of Israel, for His name.

“Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves to King Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.” ~ 1 Kings 8:1-2

A great feast with MANY offerings and rejoicing commenced. Solomon offered a beautiful prayer up to the LORD. You can read it in its entirety in 1 Kings 8:23-53. What I found interesting was that he acknowledged that the nation, as a whole and as individuals, would indeed sin. And he asked God to hear when they confessed and repented.

“And he said, ‘O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in heaven above or on earth beneath, who art keeping covenant and showing lovingkindess to Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their heart…
And listen to the supplication of Thy servant and of Thy people Israel, when they pray toward this place; hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place; hear and forgive…
If a man sins against his neighbor…then hear Thou in heaven…
When Thy people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against Thee, if they turn to Thee again and confess Thy name and pray and make supplication to Thee in this house, then hear Thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel, and bring them back…
When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against Thee, and they pray toward this place and confess Thy name and turn from their sin…then hear Thou in heaven and forgive… And send rain…
If there is famine…pestilence…blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges…whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Thy people Israel…then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart Thou knowest, for Thou alone dost know the hearts of all the sons of men, that they may fear Thee all the days that they live in the land which Thou hast given to our fathers.
When they sin against Thee (for there is no man who does not sin) and Thou art angry with them and dost deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive…if they take thought…and repent and make supplication to Thee…if they return to Thee with all their heart and with all their soul…and pray to Thee…then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, and forgive Thy people who have sinned against Thee…and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them (for they are Thy people and Thine inheritance…)…that Thine eyes may be open to the supplication of Thy servant and to the supplication of Thy people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to Thee.'” ~ 1 Kings 8:23, 30-31a, 32a, 33-34a, 35a, 36a, 36c, 37-38a, 39-40, 46a, 47, 48, 49-50a, 50c-51a, 52

King Solomon, in all his wisdom, knew what the future held for the sons of Israel. He knew they would sin and fall away from their God; that they would suffer terrible consequences of drought, famine, pestilence, plague, defeat in battle, and captivity in a foreign land. But he also knew that if they recognized their sin and confessed and repented, and if they called upon God for help, He would always hear them, forgive, and come to their rescue.

I think perhaps this public prayer was offered as a reminder to the people, much more so than to God!

We need to be wise like Solomon, recognizing “there is no man who does not sin”. When, not if, we stumble and fall, we need to come running back to God, Who is always ready to hear and to forgive, and to welcome us back into His arms!

This entry was posted in 1 Kings, Consequences, Forgiveness, God, God's Faithfulness, God's Name, God's Promises, Israel, June 2012, Obedience, Offerings, Prayer, Repentance, Solomon, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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