A TEMPLE OF FORGIVENESS
(1 KINGS –CHAPTER 8)
David thought he was going to build a temple for the Lord who then advised him that his son, Solomon, would be doing so in his name. God however, encouraged David,
‘You did well to have this in your heart to build a temple in my name but the son of your flesh and blood, Solomon, will build my temple.’
So it happened as the Lord had promised and a place was provided for the ark in which was the covenant of the Lord he made with the fathers brought out of Egypt. Solomon stood before the altar in front of the whole assembly of Israel and held up his hands toward Heaven and prayed prayers of dedication. (Verses 22 to 40).
Solomon said, ‘When a plea or prayer is made by any of the people of Israel and spreads out his hands toward this temple but is aware of the afflictions of his own heart, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act, deal with each according to all he does, since you know his heart for you alone know the hearts of all men.
The emphasis in the next verses is on forgiveness for others and not just now and again but over and over, for as long as it takes. Through forgiveness we get to know the hearts of those but also our own afflictions within us. Then, we are told, to hear from heaven which is our dwelling place of the Lord’s blessings to our faith. But are we listening?
In verse 30 we read, ‘Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place (the temple). Hear from heaven, your dwelling place and when you hear FORGIVE! Are you listening?