1 Kings 8:1-9:9 Solomon’s kingship is established. He has built a beautiful palace, and now a magnificent Temple. He calls all the elders and leaders of Israel together and they bring the Ark of the Covenant into the Temple with loud praise, innumerable sacrifices and worship. It was a day of celebration. At that moment a cloud fills the Temple with God’s glory so that the priests cannot perform their duties. That was a day of worship! So often we desire that Sunday mornings have the same fervor and fanfare and drama and if it does not we are somehow disappointed and question our spirituality.
Solomon looks at his magnificent temple and admits, “but will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple.” What follows is Solomon’s prayer with the repeated plea, “hear from heaven.” He seeks for Israel mercy, forgiveness, and action in judging wrongs.
- When the land cries for rain, hear from heaven
- When people struggle with disaster and disease, hear from heaven
- When foreigners hear of you and pray, hear from heaven
- When your people go to war, hear from heaven
- When they pray for forgiveness as captives by enemies, hear from heaven
- “May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you.”
The heart of worship is not so much the wonderful building or the wonderful mechanics executed by the many dedicated people who develop church services but it is about meeting with a living God who is merciful, who acts to bring justice, and who hears our cries.
As we go to church this Sunday, may we meet with the living God who hears the issues of our heart, hears from heaven.