Where does God live? If you knew, would you go visit Him? If He gave you an audience, what would you say?
The Israelites understood that there is one God and that He is everywhere. But they also knew that when they worshiped God through sacrifice, they needed to do this at a location He chose. God told the nation He would choose a place and cause His name to dwell there (Deuteronomy 12). His name was a symbol for Himself.
It was at this place that the people were to bring sacrifices and offerings. God forbade these practices to be carried out anywhere else. David, Solomon’s father, understood that place was in Jerusalem, and wanted to build a Temple there, but the task fell to Solomon. In 1 Kings 6, we read about the building of the Temple. When it was complete, Solomon’s prayer of dedication reflects what this “house of the Lord” signified. God is unique. He makes and keeps His promises. God rewards righteousness and listens to and answers prayers!
Solomon knew God couldn’t be restricted to a building (v. 27). With amazement he expressed the implications of a God who cannot be contained. God has jurisdiction over every situation! When no one knows who is right or wrong, God hears and judges (vv. 31–32). When Israel loses in battle because God is punishing them, God hears their repentance (v. 34). When rain is withheld because of sin, God hears their request for forgiveness and restores blessing (v. 36).
God hears Israelites and foreigners (vv. 42–43). The Temple Solomon built was a physical representation of the all-hearing God. It showed that anyone can speak to this God and gain an audience with Him.
>> Jesus Christ echoed this theological truth when He told His disciples that He would be with them always (Matt. 28:20). He would be with them to help, to heal, and to hear. He is near; what will you say to Him today?
We ask to be close to You. We desire intimacy with You, to know You as we know our friends and family members, and even more. In pain and in joy, in fear and in peace, in confidence and in shame, may we know and commune with You.