Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

Even in a foreign nation, Israel’s people could turn back to God

1 Kings 8:46-47

Israel is God’s own nation, with which God has established his covenant (special relationship) by his promises. However its people, like the people in every nation, still do wrong and evil things (Romans 3:9-12). As God told Moses, its people would turn away from God (Deuteronomy 31:15-18). Their evil deeds would continue to increase until they brought God’s anger against them. However, even after that, when they turned from their evil deeds, God would accept them back (Deuteronomy 30:1-5).

Solomon saw, therefore, that he should pray about this matter also. When God became angry with his people, their enemies would be able to defeat them in war. Israel possessed its land because of God’s promises; when the people acted against God’s promises, they would lose their connection with their land. Therefore, their enemies would take the people away as prisoners into foreign countries.

By their evil deeds, Israel’s people would ruin their own relationship with God - but God’s promises to Israel remained. Therefore, even in a foreign nation, they could turn back to God, and God would accept them.

For that to happen, the people needed truly to recognise how wrong their former behaviour was. They needed to turn completely from that evil behaviour, and to place their trust in the kindness of God alone (Psalm 106:6; Daniel 9:5).

Next part: An appeal for God to forgive his people (1 Kings 8:48-51)


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