One of the major theological motifs that we find in this portion of scripture is Covenant. This divine–human covenant is seen clearly in 1 Kings 8-9 as the ark of the covenant returns to its prescribed home, met with an atmosphere of gratitude, hope, worship and celebration!
This reality of divine–human relationship is a concept we find throughout the biblical record. It never ceases to amaze and humble me.
When I read Solomon’s prayer of benediction, I find it beautiful and holy, everything it was meant to be, and honoring the character and majesty of God! Can you imagine the joy of the people to see the ark, a physical representation of the wilderness experiences of their ancestors 400 years ago! This ark is their heritage of God’s promises to Israel: the Law given to Moses to set a people apart for His purposes, to belong to Him. What a privilege!
The unsettling truth we find here after eight days of worship and the prayers to live according to His statutes is God’s second appearance to King Solomon. He reminds Solomon that if they do not live with integrity and righteousness, obeying God’s Word, if they abandon their God and fall into idolatry, all will be lost. This consecrated people will face disaster and be cut off from the God who has loved them faithfully!
It’s a somber note on a magnificent day!