Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

The temple, a house of prayer for people from all nations

1 Kings 8:41-43

In Genesis 12:1-3, God made his promises to Abraham about the future of Abraham’s family. God told Abraham that he wanted to use that family to show his (God’s) kindness to people from every nation.

In the same way, God’s house called the temple was in Israel. Israel is the nation that came from Abraham’s family. However, God did not intend that his temple would only be for the benefit of people from Israel. Rather, that temple was a house of prayer for people from all nations (Isaiah 55:7). People across the world would hear about the wonderful things that God had done for Israel’s people. So, foreigners would realise that Israel’s God is the only true God. They too would choose to serve the real God with Israel’s people.

Solomon prayed that God would accept the prayers of those foreigners. In that way, people across the world would learn to know and to respect God.

At the time of Solomon, people in every nation served their own false gods. Only Israel’s people accepted the one real God as the God of their nation. However, the Bible mentions many people in other nations who accepted the real God. There were, for example, the great king, Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel chapter 4), and the people in Nineveh (Jonah chapter 3). Christ told the first Christians to declare his good news to people in every nation (Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8) – and this became Paul’s special work for God (Galatians 2:7).

Next part: Prayers during war (1 Kings 8:44-45)


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