Solomon Builds the Temple – I Kings 6-8

 

Think of the biggest and best celebration or party you’ve ever attended. What was it? A wedding? A parade? A holiday? What made it great? The people who were there? The food that was served? The importance of the occasion? Our passage today describes what might have possibly been the most festive and momentous occasion in Israel’s history – the dedication of Solomon’s temple, which occurred at the conclusion of a 7-year building project. The celebration was huge – everyone was invited. The food was incredible – they feasted for two weeks! It was significant and momentous – the living God actually came down and filled the temple with His presence!! It’s hard for us to even imagine the joy, the community, and the celebration!

 

One of the best parts of the celebration was Solomon’s prayer of dedication (found in I Kings 8). In his prayer, we see a reflection of the heart of God.

·      God delights in hearing our praises. He is loving and faithful. (23, 24)

·      Our God is the God Who Sees. He pays attention to his children, and He hears their prayers. (28, 29)

·      God cares about justice. (31, 32)

·      God is forgiving. (34, 36, 50)

·      God knows everything, including what is in every heart. (39)

·      God cares about everyone, not just his own people. (41-43)

 

Solomon’s prayer was evidence that he truly knew the true and living God, and his blessing on the people sets a model for what we can pray for our kids.

·      May they give their lives to Jesus so they will know that God is with them. (57)

·      May their hearts be turned to God so that they will always obey Him. (58)

·      May God provide their needs. (59)

·      May they let the whole world know that the Lord is God. (60)

·      May their hearts be fully committed to the Lord. (61)

 

Game – Puzzle Relay – provided: 2 identical, SIMPLE puzzles. (Just print 2 copies of a picture and cut each picture into 8-16 pieces). Mix up all puzzle pieces of both puzzles and scatter them at the front of the room. Explain that when you say go, one player from each team will run to the front of the room and choose a puzzle piece. The player will return to his team and another player will retrieve a piece. Players should be careful not to retrieve a piece already collected by a team member. If a team gets a duplicate piece, another player may return that piece but may not retrieve a new piece on the same turn. The rest of the team should work together to complete the puzzle as players retrieve pieces. Encourage team members to communicate about which pieces of the puzzle they need. The first team to complete the puzzle wins. Discuss:

·      You worked as a team to put this picture together. What did the people in our Bible story work together to build? The temple

·      How did the people work together to build the temple? Solomon was in charge but skilled workers completed all the various parts – stoneworkers, woodworkers, artists, bronze workers, gold and silversmiths.

·      The temple was filled with beautiful workmanship, but the most amazing part of the building is recorded in I Kings 8:10-11. God’s very own presence filled the temple. How could the people tell God was there? He appeared as a cloud that filled the temple.

·      God still promises His presence to all who believe on Jesus and whose hearts are committed to Him. When God’s presence lives within someone today, is there any visible sign of His presence? Although there is no cloud around the person, the fruit of his/her life indicates God’s presence – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22, 23).

·      This passage (I Kings 8:22-61) contains 2 incredible prayers of Solomon – one a prayer dedicating the temple to the Lord and the other asking God’s blessing on the people. Both prayers provide examples of things we could pray for. What are some things you learn about prayer from these 2 examples? Praise God for His faithfulness and His love; pray for justice, forgiveness, other people to know God; ask God to provide our needs, to turn our hearts to Him, to obey Him and to be fully committed to Him.

 

Additional questions:

 

What did you like about this story? What didn’t you like?

 

What did you learn about God/Jesus?

·      God has a plan that is good.

·      God gives people specific skills to help them achieve His plans.

·      God is faithful and loving.

·      God knows what is in all our hearts.

·      God wants His people to be completely committed to Him.

·      God wants His people to care about those who are far from HIm.

 

What did you learn about people?

·      People are gifted to do God’s work.

·      People often fail, so they need to repent and turn towards God.

·      People should ask God for all that they need.

·      People should pray when they are rejoicing, when they are sorry, and when they need help.

·      People can bless others and God when they make generous gifts to God.

 

What did you learn about yourself?

·      I want to learn to pray constantly about everything.

·      I want to remember that God is with me.

·      I want to care about the things that are important to God.

·      I want to remember to repent quickly when I fail to please God.