1 Kings #08: an exposition of 1 Kings 8:1-66. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, March 15, 2015.
What is your understanding of God? How do you picture Him? When you think of God what dominates your thinking? I cringe at what I hear people say. There seems to be such a flippant attitude. It is not always that the person making the remark means it in a flippant way but the attitude is too casual. Their God is too small. I heard it this last week. “Well, it’s in His hand now. No one knows but the ‘man upstairs.’” The man upstairs? You mean the eternal God? The one who spoke and the entire universe came into being? The one who put the stars in their place who holds all things together by the power of His might? That’s the man upstairs? Or the thinking is that the Eternal One is my buddy. Yes, God is loving, merciful and kind. He is gracious and He relates to us on a personal basis but He is not your buddy. Or an individual, a church or a denomination feels they have perfectly identified Him in their doctrinal statement or confession of faith. He doesn’t fit in any of our boxes! There is no adequate statement. Yes, He has revealed himself in Scripture. He has made himself known in history. He has ultimately shown himself in the person of the Lord Jesus but you cannot define Him. No words do Him justice. There is profound mystery surrounding our God.
It was an impressive sight. Not only the build itself but the pomp and circumstance surrounding it. It was the seventh month. It was the Feast of Booths, a time of commemorating the wilderness wandering. This was the appropriate time for dedicating the temple for this marked the end of Israel’s wandering. They were now established in the land that had been given to them. The symbol of God’s presence was now completed. God would dwell in the midst of his people in a permanent house. The Ark of the Covenant is brought along with the holy vessels. The king offers a dedication prayer and the glory of God fills the temple. As we look in on this event we witness something of the glory and greatness of our God. There is no mistaking – He is the focal point of this chapter. He is front and center in this drama. Our text this evening is 1 Kings chapter 8.
Text: 1 Kings 8;1-66
This is a long chapter and we are not going to go into great detail. Rather I’m going to pull out a few things for us to consider. As I’ve look at the chapter I’m convince that…
Thesis: Solomon’s dedication of the temple celebrates the greatness and the glory of our God.
When you consider the structure of the chapter it becomes clear that Solomon’s prayer is the heart of the chapter.
Structure of the Chapter (Dale Ralph Davis)
Celebration and Sacrifice – 8:1-13
Blessing Israel and Yahweh – 8:14-21
Solomon’s Prayer – 8:22-53
Blessing Israel and Yahweh – 8:54-61
Celebration and Sacrifice – 8:62-66
I want to explore the chapter under the heading of the greatness and glory of God.
I will call you attention to three things.
- First, as the chapter unfolds we are struck by the profound mystery and yet the exact clarity of our God. (8:1-13)
- We are greatly encouraged by the unflinching faithfulness of our God. (8:23-24)
- We are humbled by the immensity and yet intimacy of our God. (8:27-61)
- 8:27-30 – The heavens cannot contain him yet he hears our prayers.
- 8:31-53 – He is absolutely holy yet merciful.
- 8:41-43 – He is Israel’s God yet He loves the entire world.
- 8:54-61 – He is moving all things to His predetermined end yet provides each day’s necessities.
Here is a biblical view of God:
- He is one who is profoundly mysterious and yet very clear.
- He is one who is incomparably faithful to His word and to His people.
- He is one who is transcendant and yet intimate.
He won’t fit into your box no matter how big you make it.
He alone is God.