Monday, March 12, 2012
What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: (1 Kings 8:38 KJV)
“This house” is the temple, just finished and in the process of being dedicated by Solomon. Here, he is praying to God, though his prayer starts much earlier in the chapter. Before praying, the Ark of the Covenant was moved in and a cloud filled the House of the Lord.
Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. (1 Kings 8:12-13 KJV)
Unfortunately, that portion of Solomon’s address to the congregation proved to be invalid – today only a portion of a younger wall serves as a reminder of '”a settled place" meant to be for ever. Solomon did understand that God hears prayers:
Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) (1 Kings 8:39 KJV)
Solomon didn’t stop with the Children of Israel when he considered who would worship in “this house.” He knew strangers would come, seeking the Lord God:
Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake; (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; (1 Kings 8:41-42 KJV)
I think I would count as one from a far country who searched for the Lord God, finding Him far from “this house,” but exactly where Christ said He would be.
The woman at the Samaritan well knew where people said they were supposed to worship:
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (John 4:20 KJV)
Jesus answered her with truth:
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:21-24 KJV)
There is more than one truth in these verses – The Jews knew about worship for they were the protectors of God’s word. Salvation for the world would come through the Jews. God is a Spirit, the Spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
“What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man,” is to be made to Him.