Do you remember that at the end of chapter 8, we read that wonderful prayer of Solomon’s after the work was completed on the Temple? Well, here in the beginning of chapter 9, we read that God appeared to Solomon for the second time and He said to Solomon, “I have heard you pray to me. I have heard you ask me to show you my favor. You have built this temple. I have set it apart for myself. My Name will be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.”
My first reaction to this is, “Wow! How cool would that be if after I prayed, God would appear to me and say, “I’ve heard you, Steve.”
My second reaction is, “Maybe I need to step up my prayer life, because that prayer that Solomon offered was much better than anything I have ever prayed.” But of course, King Solomon was much wiser and more intelligent than me.
And then I remember that even Solomon’s prayer is nothing in comparison to God, so I’m ok just being me. After all, God looks at the heart and not the words we speak.
Well, God tells Solomon that He’s heard him and all, and I’m sure Solomon had a heart full of joy at this point.
But then God follows up these wonderfully uplifting words with some equally sobering words. He tells Solomon that in order for all these things to remain true, Solomon and his people must remain faithful to God in all their ways. If they don’t, God will take His hand off of them and He will leave them, and this now beautiful temple will be a source of shock and wonder.
You see, God knew that the people needed to be constantly reminded of who their source of strength and well being was. They are God’s chosen people not because they are special, but because He is a God of grace. It is His goodness and love that brought them out of Egypt, not anything they did. It was His might that brought them into the promised land, not their military prowess. And on and on.
God wanted them looking at Him, not this beautiful building that they built according to His very specific instructions.
My friend, has God used you in some wonderful way? Don’t forget who did that. You didn’t. He did. Remember to look to Him and not to rest on your laurels. He wants us to continually rely on Him and live lives that are pleasing to Him.
What do you think?