1 Kings 8:38
What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all your people Israel…
1 Kings 8:38. The consecration of the temple was the grandest religious ceremony of the old covenant. It is important -
I. BECAUSE IT CENTRALIZES THE WORSHIP OF THE THEOCRACY.
II. BECAUSE IT SUPPLIES A TYPE OF THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE which is to be reared in the Church and in every Christian soul. Solomon, as the king chosen of God, represents in this service of consecration the entire theocracy. The temple is essentially a house of prayer, as is manifest from the words of the consecration. "What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart... hear thou in heaven." It is the sanctuary of the invisible God, and its gates stand open to the multitude, who come to worship and to offer sacrifice. Instead of a statue, such as was found in the idol temples, the priests of the true God place in their sanctuary the ark of the covenant, containing the law, the Divine expression of the holy will of God. The altar of sacrifice, placed in front of the sanctuary, reminds the people of their transgressions, while at the same time the sacrifice of the victims is prophetic of the future redemption. The consecrating prayer opens and closes with adoration. It spreads before God all the wants of the people, and asks from Him deliverance in every time of need (1 Kings 9:8). It enumerates first temporal distresses, but the whole petition culminates in the ever-recurring pleading for forgiveness. This is the burden of the whole temple service, and this character is reproduced in Christian worship. In the time of its highest spirituality there were no properly consecrated Christian temples. Aras non habemus said Minutius Felix. A temple is nevertheless a necessity of worship; and we are free to recognize this apart from any superstitious notion, and remembering that while the heaven of heavens cannot contain the Most High, He yet condescends to dwell in the humble and contrite heart. There has been no longer a sanctuary in the old exclusive sense, since the blood was shed which has redeemed the whole earth to God. Our houses of prayer are not now more holy in themselves than our homes. Let us consecrate them by consecrating ourselves to God, and rendering to Him the worship which is His due - the sacrifice of our whole being. Let our prayers, like that of Solomon, begin and end with adoration, and let the burden of them be the expression of our repentance for sin. Let them have, like the prayer of the theocratic king,'s breadth of intercession for the whole people of God, and let them lay at the foot of the cross the burden of the woes of humanity and the needs of the Church. - E. de P.
Parallel VersesKJV: What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: