|Theme: Conditional Answer to Prayer
|Focus on: Solomon
|Reading Portion(s): 1 Kings 8 to 9:9 & 2 Chronicles 5 to 7.|
|– Important Background Information|
|– Helps you find strength in God|
|What this article teaches you|
| God accepts our prayers. He also answers them. He blesses our work and our effort as we pray. Yet that blessing is not permanent. But it is conditional. This is a principle that we need to learn.
We often think that once God has blessed something it will remain forever. The Bible teaches us differently. It teaches us that when God answers prayer He also demands that we continue to walk in obedience to Him. If we continue to walk in His ways the blessings in answer to prayer will remain with us and in our work. If not, God will not hesitate to withdraw His blessings from what He has already blessed
King Solomon was the one chosen by God to carry out King David’s dream of building a dwelling place for God. According to God’s promise to David, God enabled Solomon to built a magnificent temple in Jerusalem.
King Solomon brought the ark of the Lord during the time of the festival of the seventh month to the newly built temple. Accompanied by a great many sacrifices that could not be counted, the ark was put into the Most Holy Place beneath the wings of the cherubim.
Even as the priests withdrew from the temple and gave thanks and praise to God with singing and musical instruments the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud that filled the temple.
Then King Solomon turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel gathered there. He told them that God had fulfilled that day the promise He had given to his father David. He said that God had chosen Jerusalem for His Name to be there and the temple for His dwelling. He also added that God had raised him up to the throne to succeed his father and according to His promise enabled him to build the temple.
Then Solomon spread out his hands toward heaven and prayed. He prayed to dedicate the temple to God’s glory. King Solomon told God that there is no God like Him in heaven or earth who keeps His covenant of love with His servants who follow Him wholeheartedly. He acknowledged the fact that God kept the promise made to his father David. Now he wanted God to keep the promise made to David in which He said that David will never fail to have a man to sit before God on the throne of Israel. He agreed that this was subject to the condition that the sons of David was careful to do everything according to the law of the Lord.
Solomon continued his prayer. He said that the highest heavens could not contain God and then how less the temple that he had built. Yet He asked God to keep His eyes open toward the temple day and night to answer the prayers of those who prayed turning toward the temple. He prayed to God to give right judgment, forgiveness, deliverance from enemies and famine when His people turned and prayed toward this temple. He also asked God to answer the prayer of foreigners who would come and pray toward this temple so that His name will be honored in all the earth. He concluded by asking God to come and dwell in this resting place.
God heard the prayer of Solomon for when he had finished praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices. Moreover God’s glory filled the temple. The people having seen all this knelt down with their faces to the ground and worshipped God. Then the king and the people celebrated the dedication of the temple with great joy.
We find here God keeping His promise. We find that a great temple, magnificent and strong, being built. We find the people rejoicing and worshipping God for His goodness. We find God accepting Solomon’s prayer and sacrifices. We find God’s glory filling the temple.
We might feel happy and satisfied when something great like this happens in our life. We will feel contentment. What more do we need to see and experience than the glory of the Lord? Maybe nothing more. Yet for the glory of the Lord to remain in our lives we need to do something more. This is revealed in God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer.
God first of all told Solomon that He had indeed heard his prayer and chosen the temple as His dwelling place and as a place for sacrifices. He said that His eyes and heart will always be there. Then God placed a condition before Solomon. It was a big “IF.” God told Solomon that the royal line of David will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel only IF they observed and followed all the commands of the Lord wholeheartedly. God also added that IF they disobeyed He will simply reject the temple that He had consecrated for His Name and allow this imposing structure to be destroyed completely.
What an answer to prayer! God had accepted the prayer. Yet He chose to tell His people that the blessings will remain only IF they obeyed Him wholeheartedly. He also added that He would not hesitate to destroy what He has blessed if the kings or the people did not continue to obey Him.
Here is a warning and a promise. The promise is that God is pleased to bless IF we obey and the warning is that God is pleased to destroy what He has already blessed IF we disobey. God’s blessings are thus conditional to man’s obedience!