November 12, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

25 Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 Now therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O LORD my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Ki 8:25–30). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

25–28 Solomon’s confidence in praying is bolstered by previously answered prayer. Answered prayer is today also a strong basis for confidence in prayer. A second ground of confidence is God’s own promise. His servants frequently claim his promises when they pray, and God honors these requests (cf. Ex 32:13; Da 9:1–19). In making this petition, Solomon recognizes his own responsibility and tacitly rededicates himself to serving God.

The major point, however, of these verses is a plea that God, who has so far been faithful in every way to his covenant with David (as evidenced in the completion of the temple and the rulership of Solomon), might always accept this temple and condescend to dwell there, while receiving those who approach him by way of the temple.

Verse 27 is parenthetical. The request continues in v. 28. By means of the rhetorical question, Solomon makes it clear that he is under no illusion as to the significance of the temple, nor is it properly speaking a home for God. It would be utterly impossible to build a house that could even begin to be commensurate with, or adequate to reflect, the majesty of the Lord. God does not need the temple, but the temple needs God! God does not need Israel, but Israel needs God!

Verse 28 continues from v. 26. The connection may be rendered: “And let your word … come true … in giving attention to your servant’s prayer.” In making this great request, Solomon realizes that on the actual merits of the case, he has no right to pray as he does were it not for God’s own promise given by his grace. The only claim Solomon has on the Lord is God’s own word, freely given; but God’s Word is a bond that cannot be broken, so Solomon can pray with assurance and confidence. This privilege is the portion of believers of all ages.[1]

8:27–30 / Having completed the line of thought begun in 8:15, Solomon now turns his attention to the temple’s broader significance as a focal point for prayer. Verses 27–30 help us with the transition in thought, in advance of the petitions that the king will make in verses 31–51, each with their plea that God should “hear from heaven” (vv. 32, 34, 36, 39, 43, 45, 49). The main purpose of 8:27–30, indeed, is to emphasize that this is (if anywhere is) the “place” from which God hears. God cannot dwell on earth (v. 27). The temple—in spite of the statement of verse 13—is not to be thought of as a place where God is but only as a place where God’s Name is, a place towards which God’s eyes are open (v. 29; cf. Isa. 66:1–3). The hearing of prayer is done from heaven (v. 30). This is (if anywhere is) the dwelling place of God. Even then, however, God cannot, strictly speaking, dwell in even the highest heaven (v. 27). Being utterly transcendent, God cannot be “placed” at all; all human language about dwelling must be qualified constantly, so that attempts to describe do not in fact minimize. One consequence of divine transcendence, of course, is that people do not have to be in one designated place in order to pray. As God’s eyes are open toward the temple rather than in it (v. 29), it is sufficient for people to pray toward the temple rather than be physically in it (vv. 29–30; cf. John 4:21–24).[2]

8:27–30. Solomon also emphasized God’ great power: The highest heaven cannot contain You (v. 27). Yet intercession directed toward the temple was appropriate, since that was where God said, My name shall be there (v. 29; cf. 5:5). God’s character was epitomized by the phrase “My name” (cf. Ex 33:19; Dt 12:5; 2Sm 6:2; 7:13; Ps 61:8). Here Solomon established the Jewish custom of turning toward Jerusalem, the location of the temple, when they pray toward this place and ask God to hear in heaven Your dwelling place; hear and forgive (v. 30; cf. 8:38, 44, 48; Dn 6:10; Ps 5:7).[3]

8:25–30. Solomon called on God to continue to be faithful to His promises to David (vv. 25–26; cf. 2:4) and to continue to hear the prayers of His people (8:28–30; hear occurs five times in these three verses). Of course no temple or even the heavens could contain the omnipresent God (v. 27). Heaven itself is His dwelling place (cf. vv. 39, 49; Ps. 11:4; Hab. 2:20). Yet in His majesty He is interested in His people’s prayers.[4]

[1] Patterson, R. D., & Austel, H. J. (2009). 1, 2 Kings. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Samuel–2 Kings (Revised Edition) (Vol. 3, p. 705). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Provan, I. W. (2012). 1 & 2 Kings. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (p. 79). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Shields, H. E. (2014). 1 Kings. In The moody bible commentary (p. 493). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[4] Constable, T. L. (1985). 1 Kings. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 504). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

1 thought on “November 12, 2018 Evening Verse Of The Day

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