Introduction: This chapter continues Solomon’s dedication of the Temple. Here, Solomon led the Jews in a time of prayer and praise for God. From Solomon’s dedication prayer, God reveals seven reasons to praise His holy character. You can praise Him for His: (1) faithfulness; (2) lovingkindness; (3) righteousness; (4) forgiveness; (5) majesty; (6) restoration; and (7) salvation.
First, Solomon began the dedication prayer by praising God for His faithfulness in keeping His many promises. God is also worthy of your praise because He is also faithful in keeping His promises to you as well. Second, Solomon also celebrated God for His lovingkindess and asked that He answer the Jews’ prayers. God is also worthy of your praise because He loves you and wants to answer your prayers as well. Third, Solomon’s dedication also included a request that He judge evil. God is also worthy of your praise because He reigns with justice and righteousness. Fourth, Solomon’s dedication also included praise for His forgiving character and requested that He forgive the Jews for their sins. God is also worthy of your praise because He offers you a path to forgive your sins through Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross. Fifth, Solomon’s dedication also included humble praise for God’s unique greatness and power. Solomon prayed that God’s name would be praised by both the gentiles and the Jews. God’s majesty and power is also worthy of your praise. Sixth, Solomon’s dedication included a request that God restore the Jews after they repented. God is also worthy of your praise because He offers to restore you when you repent of your sins. Finally, Solomon’s dedication praised God for His willingness to provide a path to salvation. Solomon asked that God clothe His people in salvation. God is also worthy of your praise because He offers a path to salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross.
Solomon praises God for His faithfulness in keeping His promises. Solomon’s dedication began with his praise for God’s faithfulness in delivering Israel and in establishing an eternal dynasty through David: “1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud. 2 ‘I have built You a lofty house, and a place for Your dwelling forever.’ 3 Then the king faced about and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 4 He said, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David and has fulfilled it with His hands, saying, 5 ‘Since the day that I brought My people from the land of Egypt, I did not choose a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man for a leader over My people Israel; 6 but I have chosen Jerusalem that My name might be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’’ ‘7 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 9 Nevertheless you shall not build the house, but your son who will be born to you, he shall build the house for My name.’ 10 Now the Lord has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in the place of my father David and 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. 11 There I have set the ark in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with the sons of Israel.”’ (2 Chr. 6:1-11; 1 Kgs. 8:12-21). Solomon expressed his hope that God’s holy presence (represented through a cloud) would occupy the Temple and live with His people forever (2 Chr. 6:1-2; Kgs. 8:13). Although the Temple that Solomon dedicated would later be destroyed, God will still honor this prophetic request with a Temple in heaven where He will dwell with His people forever (Rev. 21:2-3). Solomon then addressed the people of Israel (2 Chr. 6:3; 1 Kgs. 8:14). His words repeated many of the themes that Nathan gave to David when God formed His Covenant through David (2 Sam. 7:12-16). Solomon celebrated God’s faithfulness in bringing the Jews out of captivity in Egypt and His sacrifice in waiting until the Promised Land was secure before building a house for Him (2 Chr. 6:5; 1 Kgs. 8:16). Solomon then celebrated God’s faithfulness in fulfilling His promise that a son of David would build the Temple (1 Kgs. 8:19-20; 2 Sam. 7:20-21). Solomon then returned to the ark and what it represented. It represented both God’s promise of His Covenant with His faithfulness to deliver His people, just as He did in Egypt (2 Chr. 6:11; 1 Kgs. 8:21).
God was faithful to fulfill His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. On seven occasions, God promised to turn Abraham into a great nation in the Promised Land with countless future descendants: (1) Gen. 12:3(b); (2) 13:16; (3) 15:5; (4) 16:10; (5) 17:4-5; (6) 18:18; (7) 22:18. At Beersheba, God affirmed this same covenant with Isaac (Gen. 26:23-25). In a quote that Jacob (Israel) attributed to God, Isaac also promised that Israel’s descendants would become a great nation (Gen. 28:3). At Bethel, God confirmed His Covenant with Israel (Gen. 28:13-15). Yet, the Jews had to wait through 400 years of captivity to return to the Promised Land. They then had to spend 40 years wandering in the desert after they rebelled. Because of their faithless leaders, they then had to wait through both the time of the Judges and Saul’s reign for the promises to come true. It was not until David that the Jews seized all of the Promised Land. Thus, Solomon took this opportunity to celebrate God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises.
Because God is patient to fulfill His promises, you should be patient as well. God knew in advance that He would have to wait hundreds of years for a man of faith to come and seize all of the Promised Land. God showed His patience by waiting from the time of the exodus until David’s conquest of Jerusalem to allow a Temple to be built to house His holy name (2 Chr. 6:5-6). Although David wanted to build the Temple, God again waited for Solomon because David was the wrong person to build the Temple. Because of David’s bloodshed, he was the wrong person to build the symbol of God’s peace. (2 Chr. 6:7-8). If God is patient to wait on you, are you willing to wait for His timing?
Praise God because He is faithful even when you are not. Solomon did not deserve to receive God’s Covenant. He violated many of God’s laws. Yet, God remained faithful, even when Solomon was not. He will also remain faithful to you when your faith fails you: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). Are you singing God’s praises for remaining faithful to you when you are not?
Solomon praises God for His lovingkindness and asks that He hear the Jews’ prayers. At the altar, Solomon then offered a humble prayer of dedication that praised God for His lovingkindness and requested that He hear the Jews’ prayers: “12 Then he stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 13 Now Solomon had made a bronze platform, five cubits long, five cubits wide and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 14 He said, ‘O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no god like You in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart; 15 who has kept with Your servant David, my father, that which You have promised him; indeed You have spoken with Your mouth and have fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. 16 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, keep with Your servant David, my father, that which You have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons take heed to their way, to walk in My law as you have walked before Me.’ ‘17 Now therefore, O Lord, the God of Israel, let Your word be confirmed which You have spoken to Your servant David.’ ‘18 But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built. 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You; 20 that Your eye may be open toward this house day and night, toward the place of which You have said that You would put Your name there, to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 21 Listen to the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place; hear from Your dwelling place, from heaven; hear and forgive.’” (2 Chr. 6:12-17; 1 Kgs. 8:22-27). Solomon raised up his hands to show humility and submission before the true King of Kings (2 Chr. 6:12; 1 Kgs. 8:22). He was also kneeling as he prayed (2 Chr. 6:13; 1 Kgs. 8:54). Unlike the Egyptian kings who considered themselves to be gods, Solomon publicly demonstrated to all the people that he was nothing like their magnificent Creator. Because the Jews had repeatedly followed after false gods, Solomon then reminded the people that no one could compare to God in His greatness, His omnipresence, and His faithfulness (2 Chr. 6:14-15; 1 Kgs. 8:23-24). Part of what made God unique was His lovingkindness towards His people (2 Chr. 6:14; 1 Kgs. 8:23). Just as Jesus did in His model prayer, Spirit-led worship should pay tribute to God’s greatness (Matt. 6:9). Also just as his father David had done when he received God’s Covenant, Solomon prayed in humility for God to confirm His Covenant through Solomon (2 Chr. 6:16-17; 1 Kgs. 8:25-26). Yet, Solomon did not speak to God out of a sense of entitlement or pride. He then recognized that the Temple was not like the pagan temples where their gods allegedly resided. God’s presence was in the Temple. Yet, the heavens and the Earth could not fully contain His holy presence (2 Chr. 6:18; 1 Kgs. 8:27). He exists outside of space and time as the Creator of the universe. Solomon concluded this portion of His dedication by humbly pleading with God to hear the prayers of His people. Out of love and grace, Solomon asked that God look past their sins.
God is filled with lovingkindness for His people. Throughout the Bible, God revealed His love for His people: “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.” (Is. 30:18). “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Ps. 136:1). “O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (1 Chr. 16:34). “Thus says the LORD, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 9:23-24). Because He loved His people, He was patient for them to return to Him. He was also quick to forgive His people when they repented of their sins.
Praise God that He loves you. You can praise God as well because He loves you as well: “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. . . We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 Jo. 4:8, 16). God loved you enough to send His only son to die for your sins (Jo. 3:16). Thus, you should never feel abandoned by God. You should also feel comfortable asking to have your prayers heard.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God can hear your prayers. Jesus’ love for you in dying for your sins has made you righteous before God. This in turn allows for your prayers to be heard if you ask according to His will: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 Jo. 5:14; Ja. 4:3). “The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” (Prov. 15:29). “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.” (Ps. 145:19). This is yet another reason for you to praise God.
Show your appreciation for God’s love by loving others. When you love others, God’s love inside you is perfected: “No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” (1 Jo. 4:12). God’s love is like a muscle. If you fail to use it by loving others, it will atrophy from a lack of use.
God exalted Solomon as king because he was a humble servant. Because Solomon was humble in his words, his beliefs, and in his service as king, God rewarded him by exalting him to become a great King of Israel. God promises to resist those who are prideful and exalt those who are humble. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Prov. 29:23). “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (Jam. 4:10). “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk. 14:11). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6). If you are humble in your walk, God will also bless and exalt you in heaven.
Solomon praises God for His righteousness and ask that He judge evil. Solomon appealed to God’s just and righteous nature to both judge evil and protect His people from evil: ‘“22 If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes and takes an oath before Your altar in this house, 23 then hear from heaven and act and judge Your servants, punishing the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.”’ (2 Chr. 6:22-23). The Jews did not need to take vengeance into their own hands. Because God is just and righteous, the Jews could count on Him to judge and protect them from evil.
God is just and will judge evil. Because God is just, His people can count on Him to judge evil: “But the LORD of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness.” (Is. 5:16). “He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted.” (Job 36:6). “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.” (Ps. 33:5). “For the LORD loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.” (Ps. 37:28). “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.” (Is. 33:5). Among your many reasons to praise God, you can give thanks that He will avenge any wrong against you.
Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness and one day judge evil. God promised that David’s line would lead to the Messiah, who would reign with eternal justice and righteousness and judge evil: “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”’ (Jer. 23:5-6). “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7). “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.” (Is. 16:5). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1). He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:32-33). “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.’” (Rev. 19:16). You can also give thanks that you will forever live under His righteous reign where you will be protected from every kind of evil.
As Jesus’ ambassador, walk with righteousness and be His source of justice. You are Jesus’ ambassador (2 Cor. 5:22). You further represent His light (Matt. 5:14). Thus, He calls upon you to be blameless and righteous: “so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:11). He further desires that you be the instrument for His justice: “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Dt. 16:20). This means that you should care about addressing wrongs and the plight of those in need: “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” (Prov. 31:9). “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.” (Ps. 82:3). “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” (Dt. 10:18). You should pray for both the oppressed and the oppressors. You can also pursue His justice by seeking to help the oppressed and those who cannot help themselves. How are you helping those in need or the oppressed?
Solomon praises God for forgiveness and asked that He forgive the Jews’ sins. Recognizing their need for God’s mercy, Solomon prayed that God would forgive the Jews’ sins: ‘“24 If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and they return to You and confess Your name, and pray and make supplication before You in this house, 25 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which You have given to them and to their fathers.’ 26 ‘When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, and they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You afflict them; 27 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your servants and Your people Israel, indeed, teach them the good way in which they should walk. And send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people for an inheritance.’ ‘28 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, if there is locust or grasshopper, if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities, whatever plague or whatever sickness there is, 29 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own pain, and spreading his hands toward this house, 30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, 31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.”’ (2 Chr. 6:24-31; 1 Kgs. 8:28-53). Also from a position of humility, Solomon recognized how amazing it was that the Creator of the universe would hear the prayers of sinful people (2 Chr. 6:24-25; 1 Kgs. 8:28-29). Solomon then cried out as an intercessor for God to hear the prayers of His people and forgive them their sins (2 Chr. 6:26-27; Kgs. 8:30-31). Knowing that God promised 40 progressively severe curses for a nation in open sin and rebellion (Dt. 28:15-68), Solomon prayed that God would overlook past and future sins that would normally cause God to withhold His blessing and discipline the nation. He prayed for God to forgive the Jews’ sins that had in the past led to their defeat in battle (2 Chr. 6:24-25; 1 Kgs. 8:33-34). He then prayed for God to forgive the Jews’ sins that had in the past also brought drought and famine to the lands (2 Chr. 6:28-29; 1 Kgs. 8:35-36; Lev. 26:19.). There is no sin that is beyond God’s ability to forgive.
God blessed the Jews with forgiveness. In response to Solomon’s prayer, God created a clean heart in both him and in the people: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chr. 7:14). Yet, both Solomon and the Jews would soon squander God’s forgiveness with ongoing sins.
Jesus can also cleanse your heart of sin and allow you to go boldly into the throne room. If you repent, Jesus will also bless you by forgiving you (1 Jo. 1:9). Through His death on the cross, He has made you blameless with His righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). Through His righteousness, you can now approach God the Father in the throne room in boldness as you pray for others, just as Solomon did for his people (Heb. 4:16). Are you praying boldly for others who are caught in sin and in need of forgiveness?
Show your appreciation for God’s forgiveness by forgiving others. In response to the forgiveness that you received, God expects you to forgive others: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:32). “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” (Col. 3:13). “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matt. 6:14). Is there anyone that you need to forgive?
Solomon proclaims God’s majesty and states that He is praise worthy by all. Solomon also pleaded for God’s majesty and glory to be proclaimed by both gentiles and Jews: “32 Also concerning the foreigner who is not from Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your great name’s sake and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, 33 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, and fear You as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by Your name.’ 34 ‘When Your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way You shall send them, and they pray to You toward this city which You have chosen and the house which I have built for Your name, 35 then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.”’ (2 Chr. 6:32-35) Solomon prayed for God to show mercy to God-fearing foreigners who would not have fully complied with the laws given to Moses (2 Chr. 6:32-33; 1 Kgs. 8:41-43). Even though the Jews were privileged to have God’s Temple, it was meant to be a place of prayer for everyone: “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations,” (Is. 42:6). Solomon also prayed for God to forgive the Jews’ sins and grant them victory in battle (2 Chr. 6:34-35; 1 Kgs. 8:44-45). Solomon’s point that God was worthy of universal praise. His light was meant to bless and guide both Jews and gentiles.
Praise God to non-believers around you. Like Solomon, David promised to go “among the nations” and “sing praises to Your name.” (2 Sam. 22:50). Also like Solomon, David knew that God’s victories were for His glory so that other nations would also bow down in reverence to the true King of Kings. Paul later quoted David to state that he would also proclaim Jesus to the nations: “ . . . as it is written, ‘Therefore I will give praise to you among the gentiles, and I will sing your name.” (Ro. 15:9). In response to Jesus’ faithfulness, He wants you to praise Him to non-believers. When you praise Him to non-believers, you fulfill His Great Commission in your life (Matt. 28:16-20).
Share God’s light with others. Jesus is the light of the world (Jo. 8:12). He is also the light that burns inside of you: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (Jo. 1:4). His light inside you was meant to burn as a beacon of hope to others “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matt. 5:14). Through your conduct and your service to those in need, you can let His light guide others to Him.
Solomon praises God for His restoration and asked that He restore the Jews. Solomon’s prayer recognized mankind’s inherent sin and God’s need to judge sin as a just and righteous God. Thus, living without sin was impossible for mankind. Solomon therefore pleaded with God to restore the Jews when they repented of their sins: “36 When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near, 37 if they take thought in the land where they are taken captive, and repent and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have committed iniquity and have acted wickedly’; 38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.” (2 Chr. 6:36-39). In a prophetic recognition of their future exile, Solomon prayed that God would forgive the Jews’ sins and restore them after their future captivity (2 Chr. 6:37-38; 1 Kgs. 8:46-54).
The universal nature of sin should normally disqualify God’s response to prayer. As part of his prayer, Solomon recognized that all have sinned and fallen short before God: “46 When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) . . .” (2 Chr. 6:36; 1 Kgs. 8:46). Sin has also separated you from God: “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God . . .” (Is. 59:2(a)). The universal nature of sin is repeated throughout the Bible: “[I]t is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.”’ (Rom. 3:10-11; Ecc. 7:20). “[T]here is no one who does good.” (Ps. 14:1; 53:1). “Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.” (Ps. 143:2). “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 Jo. 1:8). In the Old Testament, God warned that as a consequence of the separation caused by sin, He would not hear the prayers of sinners: “So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” (Is. 1:15). “And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness.” (Is. 59:2-3(b)). “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but He does listen to anyone who worships Him and does His will.” (Jo. 9:31; Prov. 15:29; 8:9; Ps. 66:18). In the New Testament, He warns that sin can “hinder” a believer’s prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). God wants you to regularly pray for Jesus to cleanse your sins so that your prayers are not hindered.
God can restore His people when they repent. Although God can allow His people to experience discipline, He can also restore His people when they turn back to Him: “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.” (Hosea 6:1). “You who have shown me many troubles and distresses will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” (Ps. 71:20). “My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word.” (Ps. 119:25). God was forced to send His people into exile when they refused to repent. Yet, when they repented, God was faithful to restore a faithful remnant.
Out of gratitude for your restoration, help to restore others. Just as Jesus has restored you, you can be His instrument to help restore others lost to sin: “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1). Are you mentoring someone else out of love to help restore them?
Solomon praises God for salvation and prayed for the Jews’ salvation. Finally, Solomon prayed that God “clothe” His priests “with salvation” out of His lovingkindness: “‘40 Now, O my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.’ 41 ‘Now therefore arise, O Lord God, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might; let Your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation and let Your godly ones rejoice in what is good.’ 42 ‘O Lord God, do not turn away the face of Your anointed; remember Your lovingkindness to Your servant David.”’ (2 Chr. 6:40-42). Solomon’s prayer is so important that it is partly repeated in the book of psalms: “Arise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your godly ones sing for joy. For the sake of David Your servant, Do not turn away the face of Your anointed.” (Ps. 132:8-10).
As part of Jesus’s holy priesthood, you can benefit from Solomon’s prayer. Solomon prayed that God would clothe His priests with salvation (2 Chr. 6:41). Some might assume that this is limited to the Levites. Yet, as a believer in Christ, you become part of His priesthood. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Pet. 2:9). As part of Jesus’ royal priesthood, He can also clothe you in His salvation and righteousness.
Because Jesus does not want any to perish, He died for our sins. God does not want anyone to perish: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9). Out of love for mankind, Jesus came and died so that any who believe could live: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (Jo. 3:16). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” (Ro. 4:25). How are you giving thanks for the eternal salvation that Jesus made possible at the cross?
Out of gratitude, help to clothe others in salvation. If you are grateful for the salvation that Jesus made possible, you can also show your gratitude by helping others to find salvation through Jesus. If you share the good news with others, Jesus will bless you “How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” (Ro. 10:15).