Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 9

God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer

1 Kings 9:3

By an ‘answer’ to a prayer, we usually mean that God carries out our requests. In other words, God does those things that we asked him to do.

On this particular occasion, however, God actually told Solomon his (God’s) answer to the prayer in 1 Kings 8:22-53. That is clear from the longer account of God’s words to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:12-16. There, God replies to some of the particular requests that Solomon made (8:35-40).

Here, in 1 Kings 9:3, the reply appears much more briefly. That seems to be because the author is emphasising God’s words about the future of the temple (the house of God) and of Solomon’s family.

First, God declares that he has accepted Solomon’s prayer about the temple. That prayer pleases God; God has accepted the temple as a very holy place – his home in this world. Formerly, God’s home was the sacred tent called the tabernacle. That was therefore a temporary building, which Israel’s people moved to different places. However, the temple would remain permanently the place that God had chosen (Deuteronomy 12:5-14). That would even remain true if people destroyed the temple (9:6-9). That place was for the honour of God’s most holy name.

Solomon had prayed that God’s eyes would watch over the temple (8:29). God promised even more than Solomon had requested. He declared that his heart would be there. In other words, God truly cares about that place. God would both give attention to his people’s prayers there, and he would show his love to them there.

Next part: God's promises to Solomon's family (1 Kings 9:4-5)


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