Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness. Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever! ” Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing: “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father, ‘From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. But I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’” Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good, but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’ “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”
1 Kings 8:12-21
Dear God, this is an interesting story because while, on the surface, it seems to be telling the people to worship you, by now, Solomon has been king for a number of years, and somehow he turned it all around to be about him being on the throne.
I started this series on Solomon because I wanted to see if I could get a feel for what happened to turn Solomon from a wise king to a mean and ruthless king. I think some seeds of it can be found here. In that culture, I wonder how hard it was to keep down uprisings and rebellions. I wonder if he struggled to be at peace as king and ended up spending more time than he might have expected thinking about holding on to power.
I’ve posed the question before that I wonder what would have happened if the Israelites had never asked for a king but, instead, if David had succeeded Samuel as judge of Israel. If that had happened then there likely would have been no David and Bathsheba, and, therefore, no Solomon, but this whole concept of life being about establishing a dynasty through someone’s lineage seems to be cancerous.
Father, help me to not look to my children’s lives for my validation. Help me to not gain pride for their accomplishments and not take on shame for their failures. Help me to let go of my own pride and how I look in others’ eyes and release my children to walk the path you have for them. Do all of this for your glory.
In Jesus’s name I pray,