I Kings 8
Then the king turned around and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel stood. He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from any of the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, nor did I choose anyone to be a ruler over my people Israel. But I have chosen Jerusalem in order that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’ My father David had it in mind to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to consider building a house for my name; nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’ Now the Lord has fulfilled the promise that he made, for I have risen in the place of my father David; I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. There I have provided a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love with your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed that you promised to your servant my father David.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today, that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; hear and forgive.
In due time, the promise of God came to fruition. David’s son, Solomon, the wise king, would build a Temple for the ark. And God’s presence would be felt in the Temple. The Bible tells in great detail of the construction of this magnificent edifice. And the Bible gives us a look into the wise king’s soul with a prayer.
When we come into the worship places we have built as God’s House, we too bring who we are and what we have to offer as we trust that God’s name will be there, and there God will hear and forgive us.
Thank you, God, for the strong women and men who built a church home for us here in Winter Haven. Help us to maintain and populate this place as we seek to hear your voice and experience your grace, as followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.