Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

An appeal for God’s help in a legal matter

1 Kings 8:31-32

Solomon continued his prayer with descriptions of 7 particular situations where people would, in the future, appeal for God’s help. In each situation, they would go to the temple, God’s house in Jerusalem, to pray. If that was not possible, they would still turn in the direction of the temple to pray. By that action, they were asking God, for the honour of his own name, to answer their prayer. Each time, Solomon prayed that God would hear their prayer in heaven; and Solomon prayed for God to act in a way that brought him (God) honour.

This first situation is about legal matters. Solomon cared very much about the people’s legal problems (1 Kings chapter 3). Often people argue about the loss of property in such a way that no human judge can decide between them. In such situations, God’s law directed (Exodus 22:10-12) that the people should deal with these matters by means of oaths (serious promises in front of God). In that way, they appealed to God as the witness that they had spoken the truth about that matter. God sees and knows all things (Psalm 139:1-12).

Solomon prayed that God would hear and act upon such oaths. If a human judge is unable to find the evidence to punish a criminal, then God can still act against that person. If a judge fails to declare a person innocent, then God can still act on that person’s behalf. That innocent person appeals to God at his temple, and God hears it in heaven. When God then acts on behalf of the innocent person, that brings honour to God.

Next part: An appeal by a guilty nation for God's help (1 Kings 8:33-34)


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