1 Kings 8:22Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23He said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day.
With these and the following verses, Solomon offers a prayer to the Lord before all Israel. He was not afraid to publicly pray, praise and worship the Lord. While we consider this a characteristic of any Christian, how well do we measure up to that standard ourselves? How quick are we to offer thanksgiving and praise, and, to give credit where credit is due?
1 Kings 8
The Ark Brought into the Temple
1Then 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. 2All the men of Israel assembled themselves to King Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3Then all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4They brought up the ark of the LORD and the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils, which were in the tent, and the priests and the Levites brought them up. 5And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled to him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen they could not be counted or numbered. 6Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles from above. 8But the poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; they are there to this day. 9There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
Solomon Addresses the People
12Then Solomon said,
“The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.
13 “I have surely built You a lofty house,
A place for Your dwelling forever.”
14Then the king faced about and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hand, saying, 16‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel from Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17“Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 18“But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19‘Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he will build the house for My name.’ 20“Now the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. 21“There I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD, which He made with our fathers when He brought them from the land of Egypt.”
The Prayer of Dedication
22Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 23He said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 24who have kept with Your servant, my father David, that which You have promised him; indeed, You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand as it is this day. 25“Now therefore, O LORD, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way to walk before Me as you have walked.’ 26“Now therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant, my father David.
27“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! 28“Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You today; 29that Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 30“Listen to the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place; hear in heaven Your dwelling place; hear and forgive.
31“If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, 32then hear in heaven and act and judge Your servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.
33“When Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy, because they have sinned against You, if they turn to You again and confess Your name and pray and make supplication to You in this house, 34then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You gave to their fathers.
35“When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain, because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name and turn from their sin when You afflict them, 36then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and of Your people Israel, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land, which You have given Your people for an inheritance.
37“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading his hands toward this house; 39then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, 40that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.
41“Also concerning the foreigner who is not of Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your name’s sake 42(for they will hear of Your great name and Your mighty hand, and of Your outstretched arm); when he comes and prays toward this house, 43hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.
44“When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to the LORD toward the city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name, 45then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
46“When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; 47if they take thought in the land where they have been taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of those who have taken them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and have committed iniquity, we have acted wickedly’; 48if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to You toward their land which You have given to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and the house which I have built for Your name; 49then hear their prayer and their supplication in heaven Your dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 50and forgive Your people who have sinned against You and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You, and make them objects of compassion before those who have taken them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51(for they are Your people and Your inheritance which You have brought forth from Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace), 52that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and to the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You. 53“For You have separated them from all the peoples of the earth as Your inheritance, as You spoke through Moses Your servant, when You brought our fathers forth from Egypt, O Lord GOD.”
54When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven. 55And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying,
56“Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. 57“May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us, 58that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. 59“And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, 60so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no one else. 61“Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the LORD our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.”
62Now the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifice before the LORD. 63Solomon offered for the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered to the LORD, 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the sons of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD. 64On the same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD, because there he offered the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings; for the bronze altar that was before the LORD was too small to hold the burnt offering and the grain offering and the fat of the peace offerings.
65So Solomon observed the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt, before the LORD our God, for seven days and seven more days, even fourteen days. 66On the eighth day he sent the people away and they blessed the king. Then they went to their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had shown to David His servant and to Israel His people.
1 Kings 9
God’s Promise and Warning
1Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all that Solomon desired to do, 2that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3The LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 4“As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 5then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
6“But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 7then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 8“And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ 9“And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the LORD has brought all this adversity on them.’”
Cities Given to Hiram
10It came about at the end of twenty years in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king’s house 11(Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold according to all his desire), then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12So Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him, and they did not please him. 13He said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?” So they were called the land of Cabul to this day. 14And Hiram sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
15Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. 16For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17So Solomon rebuilt Gezer and the lower Beth-horon 18and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19and all the storage cities which Solomon had, even the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and all that it pleased Solomon to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land under his rule. 20As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, 21their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day. 22But Solomon did not make slaves of the sons of Israel; for they were men of war, his servants, his princes, his captains, his chariot commanders, and his horsemen.
23These were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred and fifty, who ruled over the people doing the work.
24As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the city of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then he built the Millo.
25Now three times in a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar which he built to the LORD, burning incense with them on the altar which was before the LORD. So he finished the house.
26King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27And Hiram sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who knew the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28They went to Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon.
1 Kings 10
The Queen of Sheba
1Now when the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to test him with difficult questions. 2So she came to Jerusalem with a very large retinue, with camels carrying spices and very much gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. 3Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was hidden from the king which he did not explain to her. 4When the queen of Sheba perceived all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, 5the food of his table, the seating of his servants, the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, and his stairway by which he went up to the house of the LORD, there was no more spirit in her. 6Then she said to the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7“Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. 8“How blessed are your men, how blessed are these your servants who stand before you continually and hear your wisdom. 9“Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.” 10She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and a very great amount of spices and precious stones. Never again did such abundance of spices come in as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.
11Also the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a very great number of almug trees and precious stones. 12The king made of the almug trees supports for the house of the LORD and for the king’s house, also lyres and harps for the singers; such almug trees have not come in again nor have they been seen to this day.
13King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire which she requested, besides what he gave her according to his royal bounty. Then she turned and went to her own land together with her servants.
Wealth, Splendor and Wisdom
14Now the weight of gold which came in to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country. 16King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold, using 600 shekels of gold on each large shield. 17He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 18Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold. 19There were six steps to the throne and a round top to the throne at its rear, and arms on each side of the seat, and two lions standing beside the arms. 20Twelve lions were standing there on the six steps on the one side and on the other; nothing like it was made for any other kingdom. 21All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. None was of silver; it was not considered valuable in the days of Solomon. 22For the king had at sea the ships of Tarshish with the ships of Hiram; once every three years the ships of Tarshish came bringing gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.
23So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. 24All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart. 25They brought every man his gift, articles of silver and gold, garments, weapons, spices, horses, and mules, so much year by year.
26Now Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; and he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, and he stationed them in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 27The king made silver as common as stones in Jerusalem, and he made cedars as plentiful as sycamore trees that are in the lowland. 28Also Solomon’s import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king’s merchants procured them from Kue for a price. 29A chariot was imported from Egypt for 600 shekels of silver, and a horse for 150; and by the same means they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of the Arameans.
Prayer for Help against Persecutors.
FOR THE CHOIR DIRECTOR. A PSALM OF DAVID; FOR A MEMORIAL.
1 O God, hasten to deliver me;
O LORD, hasten to my help!
2 Let those be ashamed and humiliated
Who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
3 Let those be turned back because of their shame
Who say, “Aha, aha!”
4 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
And let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“Let God be magnified.”
5 But I am afflicted and needy;
Hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O LORD, do not delay.