Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

God guides the events in Israel’s history

1 Kings 8:20-21

David died more than 10 years previously (6:38). God had made the promise to David that Solomon would build the temple, God’s house, perhaps 30 years earlier (see 2 Samuel chapter 7). Almost 500 years ago, God had rescued Israel’s people from Egypt, where they had lived as slaves (6:1).

Now, at last, the temple was ready. On this great occasion, Solomon could see that God had guided the events in Israel’s history. God was carrying out his promises. God had prepared this place, the most holy place in the temple, for his ark. The ark was the sacred box that contained evidence of God’s covenant with Israel. The covenant means the promises by which God established his relationship with Israel. So, these events proved to Solomon that God had not forgotten his covenant. God’s promises to Israel continued, and he will carry them out completely.

God was carrying out his promises – but those promises did not end with Solomon’s temple. The promises about the construction of Solomon’s temple are also promises about the rule of God’s perfect king, called the Messiah (2 Samuel 7:10-16). Solomon knew that the people would still do evil things (8:30-51). The Messiah will change people’s hearts and attitudes completely (Isaiah 11:1-9; Isaiah 65:17-25; Jeremiah 31:31-34). Then, at last they will truly have the relationship that God wants to have with them. God will live among his people, and they will rule with him always (Revelation 21:1-7 and 22:1-5).

Next part: Solomon leads Israel's people in prayer (1 Kings 8:22-25)


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