Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Answer to Prayer

Our story today was from the end of 1 Kings 8: Solomon's prayer upon the dedication of the temple. Over and over, Solomon prayed that God would hear and forgive. When there was famine and the people realized their sin and repented, God should hear and forgive. When God brought war upon them, He should hear and forgive their prayers when they repent. When there is pestilence. When they are taken into captivity by their enemies. When there is plague and sickness. When there is drought.

The calamity brings the people to realize their sin and their need. The calamity causes them to say, "We have sinned." And God will be faithful to forgive. The solution to the problem is not just that God would send rain or send victory or send health. The solution is forgiveness.


  1. nathan fischer10/16/2009 1:57 AM

    Wow... It's been a long time since I've read Solomon's prayer. It's pretty amazing. Also worthwhile is to read Solomon's prayer alongside Christ's prayer in John 17, when Jesus presents the Church to His Father.

    I also think it's interesting that at least in the Septuagint, Solomon prays not "Hear..." (as in supplication) but rather confesses: You will hear in heaven... Always You will hear and forgive their sins.


    But will God indeed dwell with men on earth?

    Yes! Finally in the incarnation of the Word, of which we have a picture in the bringing of the Ark to the temple. We're told that the Ark contained the two stone tablets, which are viewed not as the condemnation of the law to the people, but rather as the covenant given to Moses, the promise of the incarnation itself. Here we find typified in the OT what would truly happen in the New - what was written on stone becomes written in flesh, and Solomon seems to have some understanding of them.

    Quoting Solomon: "You said, 'My name shall be there'..."

    Here the name of the Lord is counted as the very presence of the Lord. Once again, the Christological image is so powerful. The Ark (which typifies Christ) enters into the temple, and there the name of the Lord dwells.

    When Christ comes, He reveals finally in His incarnation the name of God which even the Israelites did not know and could only be revealed in the Word made flesh: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    Now, in baptism, where the name of God is placed upon and united with His people, Solomon's prayer finds its ultimate fulfillment: God's name dwells in His people. He unites Himself to us by His Holy Spirit, that we might always pray as Solomon prayed: "You will hear hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel ... and You will be merciful."

    Sorry for such a long post. That's the second one today. But after reading Solomon's prayer, I just couldn't help it... Maybe I need to start my own blog, again, so I can stop writing so much on yours. ;-)

  2. Hey, it's easier for me to read your long posts here than on a blog that I have to log into. So go ahead and keep writing long posts at your pleasure. :-)