Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Philip preached the Word, and God performed miracles. The manifested presence of God brought joy, and the miracles attested to the fact that God was in Samaria.

In 1 Kings 8:11, God's presence so permeated the atmosphere in the magnificent temple that "the priests could not continue their work because the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple." After the celebration of the Festival of Shelters that followed the dedication of Solomon's temple, the people of Jerusalem were "joyful and happy because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel" (1 Kings 8:66).

When we, as believers, become dry and lethargic in our worship and evangelism, our real need is for more of the manifested presence of God. His presence refreshes, rejoices, renews, and makes us desire to tell everyone of His goodness. As Solomon did, let us fall to our knees and pray for His presence to fill our temples. Then all men will see and believe that "there is no God like [ours] in all heaven or earth" (1 Kings 8:23).

1 Kings 8:1-66

The Ark Brought to the Temple8:1-21pp — 2Ch 5:2–6:11

Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefsNu 7:2 of the Israelite families, to bring up the arkS 1Sa 3:3; Rev 11:19 of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David.S 2Sa 5:7All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festivalver 65; S Lev 23:36; Ne 8:17 in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.S Lev 23:34; S Nu 29:12

When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priestsS Jos 3:3 took up the ark,and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meetingS Lev 17:4 and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites1Ch 15:13 carried them up,and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificingS 2Sa 6:13; S 2Ch 30:24 so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.

The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenantS Ex 26:33; S 2Sa 6:17; Rev 11:19 to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place,S Ex 26:33 and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.S Ge 3:24; S Ex 25:18The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowedS Ex 25:20 the ark and its carrying poles.These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.Ex 25:13-15There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tabletsS Ex 16:34; S 25:16; Heb 9:4 that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloudS Ex 16:10; S Lev 16:2; Rev 15:8 filled the temple of the Lord.11 And the priests could not perform their service2Ch 7:2; Rev 15:8 because of the cloud, for the gloryS Ex 16:7; S 29:43 of the Lord filled his temple.

12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;S Ex 40:34; S 2Sa 22:1013 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwellEx 15:17; Ps 132:13; 135:21; Mt 23:21 forever.”

14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessedS Ex 39:43 them.15 Then he said:

“Praise be to the Lord,1Ch 16:36; Lk 1:68 the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said,16 ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt,S Ex 3:10 I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my NameS Dt 12:5 might be there, but I have chosenS 1Sa 9:16; S 16:1 DavidPs 89:3-4 to rule my people Israel.’

17 “My father David had it in his heartS 1Sa 10:7; Ac 7:46 to build a temple2Sa 7:27; 1Ch 22:7; Ps 26:8; 132:5 for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel.18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name.19 Nevertheless, youS 2Sa 7:5 are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’S 2Sa 7:13

20 “The Lord has kept the promise he made: I have succeededS 2Sa 7:12 David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built1Ch 28:6 the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel.21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication8:22-53pp — 2Ch 6:12-40

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his handsS Ex 9:29 toward heaven23 and said:

Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God likeS Ex 9:14 you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of loveS Dt 7:9, 12; Ne 1:5; 9:32; Da 9:4 with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.24 You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.

25 “Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promisesS 2Sa 7:15; 1Ch 17:23; 2Ch 1:9 you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’26 And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promisedS 2Sa 7:25 your servant David my father come true.

27 “But will God really dwellAc 7:48; 17:24 on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven,S Dt 10:14 cannot contain2Ch 2:6; Ps 139:7-16; Isa 66:1; Jer 23:24 you. How much less this temple I have built!28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.29 May your eyes be openver 52; 2Ki 19:16; 2Ch 7:15; Ne 1:6; Ps 5:1; 31:2; 102:17; 130:2; Isa 37:17 towardPs 28:2; 138:2; Da 6:10 this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My NameS Dt 11:12; 12:11; S 2Sa 7:13 shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place.30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they prayver 47; Lev 26:40; Ne 1:6; Jer 29:12; Da 9:4 toward this place. Hearver 39; Ps 34:6 from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.S Ex 34:7, 9; Lev 26:40-42; Ps 85:2

31 “When anyone wrongs their neighbor and is required to take an oath and they come and swear the oathS Ex 22:11 before your altar in this temple,32 then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing down on their heads what they have done, and vindicating the innocent by treating them in accordance with their innocence.Dt 25:1; Eze 18:20

33 “When your people Israel have been defeatedS Lev 26:17 by an enemy because they have sinnedLev 26:39 against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple,Isa 37:1, 14, 3834 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land you gave to their ancestors.

35 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rainS Dt 28:24; S 2Sa 1:21 because your people have sinnedJer 5:25 against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them,36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. TeachS Dt 8:3; S 1Sa 12:23 them the right wayPs 5:8; 27:11; 107:7; Pr 11:5; Isa 45:13; Jer 6:16; 7:23; 31:21 to live, and send rainver 35; 1Ki 17:1; 18:1, 45; Jer 5:24; 10:3; 14:22; Zec 10:1 on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.

37 “When famineS Lev 26:26 or plagueS Ex 30:12; S Lev 26:25 comes to the land, or blightS Dt 28:22 or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers,S Ex 10:13; Ps 105:34 or when an enemy besieges them in any of their cities, whatever disaster or disease may come,38 and when a prayer or plea is made by anyone among your people Israel—being aware of the afflictions of their own hearts, and spreading out their handsS Ex 9:29 toward this temple—39 then hearS ver 30 from heaven, your dwelling place. ForgivePs 130:4 and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you knowS Jos 22:22; S Ps 44:21; Jn 2:24; S Rev 2:23 their hearts (for you alone know every human heart),40 so that they will fearver 39-40; Dt 6:13; Ps 103:11; 130:4 you all the time they live in the landS Dt 12:1 you gave our ancestors.

41 “As for the foreignerS Ge 31:15; Isa 56:3, 6; 61:5 who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name—42 for they will hear1Ki 10:1; Isa 60:3; Ac 8:27 of your great name and your mighty handDt 3:24 and your outstretched arm—when they come and pray toward this temple,43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may knowS Jos 4:24; S 1Sa 17:46 your name and fearPs 102:15 you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.S Dt 28:10

44 “When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray1Ch 5:20; 2Ch 14:11 to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name,45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.Ps 9:4; 140:12

46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sinPs 130:3; 143:2; Pr 20:9; S Ro 3:9—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captiveLev 26:33-39; S Dt 4:27; S 21:10; S 28:64; 2Ki 25:21 to their own lands, far away or near;47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and pleadS ver 30; S Lev 5:5; Ezr 9:15; Ne 1:6; Jer 14:20 with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’;Ezr 9:7; Ps 106:6; Jer 3:2548 and if they turn backS Dt 4:30 to you with all their heartS Dt 4:29 and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray1Jn 1:8-10 to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the templePs 5:7; 11:4; Jnh 2:4 I have built for your Name;Dt 12:11-14; Ne 1:9; Jer 23:3; 31:849 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy;2Ki 25:28; 2Ch 30:9; Ps 106:46; Da 1:951 for they are your people and your inheritance,S Ex 34:9; S Dt 9:29 whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.S Ex 1:13; Isa 48:10; Jer 11:4

52 “May your eyes be openS ver 29 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.Job 30:20; Ps 3:4; 22:2; 77:1; 142:153 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance,Ex 19:5; S 34:9 just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”

54 When Solomon had finished all these prayers and supplications to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands spread out toward heaven.55 He stood and blessedS Ex 39:43; Nu 6:23 the whole assembly of Israel in a loud voice, saying:

56 “Praise be to the Lord, who has given restS Ex 33:14; Dt 12:10; Heb 4:8 to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promisesS Jos 23:15; S Jer 29:10 he gave through his servant Moses.57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsakeS Dt 4:31; S 31:6; S Mt 28:20; Heb 13:5 us.58 May he turn our heartsS Jos 24:23 to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors.59 And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need,60 so that all the peoplesS Jos 4:24 of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other.S Dt 4:3561 And may your heartsDt 6:5 be fully committed1Ki 9:4; 11:4; 15:3, 14; 22:43; 2Ki 20:3; 1Ch 28:9; 29:19; 2Ch 16:9; 17:6; 25:2; Ps 119:80; Isa 38:3 to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”

The Dedication of the Temple8:62-66pp — 2Ch 7:1-10

62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrificesS 2Sa 6:13; 1Ch 29:21; Eze 45:17 before the Lord.63 Solomon offered a sacrifice of fellowship offerings to the Lord: twenty-two thousand cattle and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep and goats. So the king and all the Israelites dedicatedEzr 6:16 the temple of the Lord.

64 On that same day the king consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings, grain offerings and the fatS Ex 29:13 of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altarS Ex 27:1; 2Ki 16:14; 2Ch 4:1; 8:12; 15:8; Eze 43:13-17 that stood before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings.S 2Sa 6:17

65 So Solomon observed the festivalS ver 2 at that time, and all Israel with him—a vast assembly, people from Lebo HamathS Nu 13:21 to the Wadi of Egypt.S Ge 15:18 They celebrated it before the Lord our God for seven days and seven days more, fourteen days in all.66 On the following day he sent the people away. They blessed the king and then went home, joyful and glad in heart for all the goodS Ex 18:9 things the Lord had done for his servant David and his people Israel.

The Ark Brought to the Temple

Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of the Israelites. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion.So all the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn in the month of Ethanim.Hebrew at the festival in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month. The Festival of Shelters began on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day occurred in late September, October, or early November.

When all the elders of Israel arrived, the priests picked up the Ark.The priests and Levites brought up the Ark of the Lord along with the special tentHebrew the Tent of Meeting; i.e., the tent mentioned in 2 Sam 6:17 and 1 Chr 16:1. and all the sacred items that had been in it.There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!

Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim.The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles.These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day.Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai,Hebrew at Horeb, another name for Sinai. where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left the land of Egypt.

10 When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord.11 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord.

Solomon Praises the Lord

12 Then Solomon prayed, “O Lord, you have said that you would live in a thick cloud of darkness.13 Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever!Some Greek texts add the line Is this not written in the Book of Jashar?

14 Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing:15 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise he made to my father, David. For he told my father,16 ‘From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor my name. But I have chosen David to be king over my people Israel.’”

17 Then Solomon said, “My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.18 But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor my name. Your intention is good,19 but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor me.’

20 “And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise he made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.21 And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.”

Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication

22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire community of Israel. He lifted his hands toward heaven,23 and he prayed,

“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.24 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.

25 “And now, O Lord, God of Israel, carry out the additional promise you made to your servant David, my father. For you said to him, ‘If your descendants guard their behavior and faithfully follow me as you have done, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’26 Now, O God of Israel, fulfill this promise to your servant David, my father.

27 “But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built!28 Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.29 May you watch over this Temple night and day, this place where you have said, ‘My name will be there.’ May you always hear the prayers I make toward this place.30 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

31 “If someone wrongs another person and is required to take an oath of innocence in front of your altar in this Temple,32 then hear from heaven and judge between your servants—the accuser and the accused. Punish the guilty as they deserve. Acquit the innocent because of their innocence.

33 “If your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they have sinned against you, and if they turn to you and acknowledge your name and pray to you here in this Temple,34 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel and return them to this land you gave their ancestors.

35 “If the skies are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and if they pray toward this Temple and acknowledge your name and turn from their sins because you have punished them,36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them to follow the right path, and send rain on your land that you have given to your people as their special possession.

37 “If there is a famine in the land or a plague or crop disease or attacks of locusts or caterpillars, or if your people’s enemies are in the land besieging their towns—whatever disaster or disease there is—38 and if your people Israel pray about their troubles, raising their hands toward this Temple,39 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive. Give your people what their actions deserve, for you alone know each human heart.40 Then they will fear you as long as they live in the land you gave to our ancestors.

41 “In the future, foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear of you. They will come from distant lands because of your name,42 for they will hear of your great name and your strong hand and your powerful arm. And when they pray toward this Temple,43 then hear from heaven where you live, and grant what they ask of you. In this way, all the people of the earth will come to know and fear you, just as your own people Israel do. They, too, will know that this Temple I have built honors your name.

44 “If your people go out where you send them to fight their enemies, and if they pray to the Lord by turning toward this city you have chosen and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name,45 then hear their prayers from heaven and uphold their cause.

46 “If they sin against you—and who has never sinned?—you might become angry with them and let their enemies conquer them and take them captive to their land far away or near.47 But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, ‘We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.’48 If they turn to you with their whole heart and soul in the land of their enemies and pray toward the land you gave to their ancestors—toward this city you have chosen, and toward this Temple I have built to honor your name—49 then hear their prayers and their petition from heaven where you live, and uphold their cause.50 Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you. Make their captors merciful to them,51 for they are your people—your special possession—whom you brought out of the iron-smelting furnace of Egypt.

52 “May your eyes be open to my requests and to the requests of your people Israel. May you hear and answer them whenever they cry out to you.53 For when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, O Sovereign Lord, you told your servant Moses that you had set Israel apart from all the nations of the earth to be your own special possession.”

The Dedication of the Temple

54 When Solomon finished making these prayers and petitions to the Lord, he stood up in front of the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling with his hands raised toward heaven.55 He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:

56 “Praise the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses.57 May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us.58 May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors.59 And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night, so that the Lord our God may give justice to me and to his people Israel, according to each day’s needs.60 Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.61 And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today.”

62 Then the king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices to the Lord.63 Solomon offered to the Lord a peace offering of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the Temple of the Lord.

64 That same day the king consecrated the central area of the courtyard in front of the Lord’s Temple. He offered burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of peace offerings there, because the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence was too small to hold all the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 Then Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of SheltersHebrew the festival; see note on 8:2. in the presence of the Lord our God. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. The celebration went on for fourteen days in all—seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven days for the Festival of Shelters.Hebrew seven days and seven days, fourteen days; compare parallel text at 2 Chr 7:8-10.66 After the festival was over,Hebrew On the eighth day, probably referring to the day following the seven-day Festival of Shelters; compare parallel text at 2 Chr 7:9-10. Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel.

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.

And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.

And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.

And they brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.

And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.

And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.

For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.

There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord,

11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.

12 Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

13 I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.

14 And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)

15 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,

16 Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.

17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.

18 And the Lord said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.

19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.

20 And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.

21 And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.

22 And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

23 And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:

24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.

25 Therefore now, Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.

26 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.

27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

28 Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:

29 That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.

30 And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.

31 If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:

32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

33 When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:

34 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.

35 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

37 If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;

38 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:

39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)

40 That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.

41 Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake;

42 (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house;

43 Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

44 If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name:

45 Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

48 And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:

49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,

50 And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:

51 For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

52 That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.

53 For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.

54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

55 And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,

56 Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

59 And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

60 That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.

61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

62 And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord.

63 And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord.

64 The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord: for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brasen altar that was before the Lord was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.

65 And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the Lord our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.

66 On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the Lord had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.

Acts 7:51-8:13

51 “You stiff-necked people!Ex 32:9; 33:3, 5 Your heartsLev 26:41; Dt 10:16; Jer 4:4; 9:26 and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?S Mt 5:12 They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered himAc 3:14; 1Th 2:1553 you who have received the law that was given through angelsver 38; Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2 but have not obeyed it.”

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furiousAc 5:33 and gnashed their teeth at him.55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit,S Lk 1:15 looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.S Mk 16:1956 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven openS Mt 3:16 and the Son of ManS Mt 8:20 standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,58 dragged him out of the cityLk 4:29 and began to stone him.Lev 24:14, 16 Meanwhile, the witnessesDt 17:7 laid their coatsAc 22:20 at the feet of a young man named Saul.Ac 8:1

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”Ps 31:5; Lk 23:4660 Then he fell on his kneesLk 22:41; Ac 9:40 and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”S Mt 5:44 When he had said this, he fell asleep.S Mt 9:24

And SaulAc 7:58 approved of their killing him.

The Church Persecuted and Scattered

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scatteredver 4; Ac 11:19 throughout Judea and Samaria.Ac 9:31Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.But SaulAc 7:58 began to destroy the church.Ac 9:1, 13, 21; 22:4, 19; 26:10, 11; 1Co 15:9; Gal 1:13, 23; Php 3:6; 1Ti 1:13 Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

Philip in Samaria

Those who had been scatteredver 1 preached the word wherever they went.Ac 15:35PhilipAc 6:5; 21:8 went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said.For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many,S Mk 16:17 and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.S Mt 4:24So there was great joy in that city.

Simon the Sorcerer

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorceryAc 13:6 in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,Ac 5:3610 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.”Ac 14:11; 28:611 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of GodS Mt 3:2 and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,S Ac 2:38 both men and women.13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miraclesver 6; Ac 19:11 he saw.

51 “You stubborn people! You are heathenGreek uncircumcised. at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you!52 Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered.53 You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.”

54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.Greek they were grinding their teeth against him.55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.Saul is later called Paul; see 13:9.

59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.

Persecution Scatters the Believers

A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.(Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.)But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

Philip Preaches in Samaria

But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah.Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did.Many evilGreek unclean. spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed.So there was great joy in that city.

A man named Simon had been a sorcerer there for many years, amazing the people of Samaria and claiming to be someone great.10 Everyone, from the least to the greatest, often spoke of him as “the Great One—the Power of God.”11 They listened closely to him because for a long time he had astounded them with his magic.

12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

And there was great joy in that city.

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Psalm 129:1-8

Psalm 129

A song of ascents.

“They have greatly oppressedS Ex 1:13 me from my youth,”S Ps 88:15

let Israel say;Ps 124:1

“they have greatly oppressed me from my youth,

but they have not gained the victoryJer 1:19; 15:20; 20:11; Mt 16:18 over me.

Plowmen have plowed my back

and made their furrows long.

But the Lord is righteous;S Ex 9:27

he has cut me freePs 37:9 from the cords of the wicked.”Ps 140:5

May all who hate ZionMic 4:11

be turned back in shame.S Ps 70:2

May they be like grass on the roof,Isa 37:27

which withersS 2Ki 19:26; Ps 102:11 before it can grow;

a reaper cannot fill his hands with it,S Dt 28:38; Ps 79:12

nor one who gathers fill his arms.

May those who pass by not say to them,

“The blessing of the Lord be on you;

we bless youPs 118:26 in the name of the Lord.”

Psalm 129

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me.

Let all Israel repeat this:

From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me,

but they have never defeated me.

My back is covered with cuts,

as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.

But the Lord is good;

he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.

May all who hate JerusalemHebrew Zion.

be turned back in shameful defeat.

May they be as useless as grass on a rooftop,

turning yellow when only half grown,

ignored by the harvester,

despised by the binder.

And may those who pass by

refuse to give them this blessing:

“The Lord bless you;

we bless you in the Lord’s name.”

129 Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:

Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.

Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord.

Proverbs 17:1

17 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet

than a house full of feasting, with strife.S Pr 15:16, 17; S 16:8

17 Better a dry crust eaten in peace

than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

17 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

Jun 10 Jun 12
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