Solomon dedicates the temple 11 months after its completion and at the time of the Feast of Booths (also called the Feast of Tabernacles). During this annual feast the Israelites live in shelters or booths for 7 days as the Lord instructed the people in Leviticus 23:33-43. This is a great celebration for the Israelites where they give thanks to the Lord for his current provision and remember His deliverance from Egypt and His provisions during the 40 years wilderness journey. In the wilderness, the Lord told Moses to tell the people that the reason for the Feast of Booths was “that your generation may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt”. (Lev 23:43) The Lord wants His people to remember that He is the One who provides for them. He provided their salvation from Egypt, He will provide their daily needs, and He is providing a way for their eternal salvation through the coming Messiah.
Solomon says “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses”. God never breaks a promise; starting with that promise He made back in the garden with Adam and Eve when He promised to send a Savior who would crush the head of Satan. (Gen 3:15) Then God promised Abraham that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Gen 12:3) And He told the children of Israel that He would be sending a prophet like Moses. (Deut 18:18) This prophet is going to be the perfect Prophet who will provide our ultimate rest. He made a covenant with King David that this perfect Prophet, this greater King was coming through his bloodline. (2 Samuel 7)
So here we are with David’s son Solomon. Nothing is going to stop God’s plan of sending the Savior but the Israelites will make this a difficult journey for themselves by constantly slipping into sin and idolatry and turning from the Lord. The Lord warns Solomon that when the people turn from Him, He will cut them off. But God doesn’t leave them without hope. He goes on to say “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land”. Our hope is always found in the Lord and His promises. Tomorrow Solomon gets a visit from the Queen of Sheba. Keep reading.
(1 Kings 8:54-66, 2 Chronicles 7:1-10, 1 Kings 9:1-9, 2 Chronicles 7:11-22, 1 Kings 9:10-14)