Bible Readings for December 6th
In 2 Chronicles 6, the narrator preserves for us the prayer of Solomon, and it is recorded nearly identically to the dedication prayer that we read in 1 Kings 8. Up to the end, we find significant overlap for Solomon’s three main prayers: thanking Yahweh for keeping covenant with Israel (1 Kgs. 8:22–26; 2 Chron. 6:12–17), asking whether God can indeed dwell with man on earth (1 Kgs. 8:27–30; 2 Chron. 6:18–21), and petitioning that Yahweh would hear the future prayers of his people to forgive them of their sin (1 Kgs. 8:31–50; 2 Chron. 6:22–39). After this point, however, the two accounts of this prayer diverge.
In 1 Kings 8:50–53, Solomon emphasizes that Yahweh had chosen Israel, both separating Israel from all the nations to be his heritage (1 Kgs. 8:53), as well as bringing them out of Egypt (1 Kgs. 8:51, 53). Then, in 1 Kings 8:54–61, Solomon offers to Israel a benediction, blessing Yahweh for bringing rest to his people Israel by upholding every one of the good promises he made to his people through Moses (1 Kgs. 8:56) but also blessing Israel and pleading with them to keep their hearts wholly true to Yahweh by walking in his statutes and commandments forever (1 Kgs. 8:61).
In 2 Chronicles 6, however, the emphasis is different. Here, Solomon prays, “O LORD God, do not turn away the face of your anointed one! Remember your steadfast love for David your servant” (2 Chron. 6:42). There is an implicit acknowledgment here that the people of Israel will not be able to keep the covenant with Yahweh, as hoped for in 1 Kings 8:61. Instead, the focus shifts forward to the need for Yahweh’s Messiah, the offspring of David, to keep the covenant. On that day, the great sins of Yahweh’s people would be forgiven, once and for all, since his Messiah would faithfully offer his own body up as both sacrifice and temple for the salvation of his people.
In this way, Jesus himself becomes the fulfillment of Solomon’s prayers at the consecration of the temple in a way that the temple itself never accomplished. In Jesus, Yahweh keeps his covenant. In Jesus, Yahweh dwells with humankind on earth. Through Jesus, Yahweh hears the prayers of his people to forgive them of their sins. And it will be our Messiah Jesus who will bring us out of our bondage and into our eternal rest now that he himself has walked in all the statutes and commandments of Yahweh, dying for our sins.
“Now, O my God, let your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayer of this place” (2 Chron. 6:40)—that is, to the prayers offered through our Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is himself God’s temple.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.