“In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, [Solomon] began to build the house of the Lord” (6:1). That’s a long time! Almost 500 years! And, before that, Israel was in Egypt almost as long! We’re talking almost a thousand years from Jacob to Solomon and the temple. We might recall the words of Peter: “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness” (2 Peter 3:8,9). God is not obligated to work on our time schedule; he works on his own schedule, and he always does what he intends to do. Job declared, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
I mentioned, yesterday, that Solomon was a study in contradictions. It shows up, here, again. He spent only seven years building the temple; he devoted thirteen years to building his own house. Hmmm . . . I read, just this weekend, about a state governor, in the midst of all this COVID mess, spending unbelievable amounts of money (that would be $$$ provided by taxpayers) to “wine and dine” herself and her staff. Political privilege? Solomon certainly had it! But, then, he prayed. And, oh my, what a prayer! One of the great prayers of all time. The king began by acknowledging God’s faithfulness: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to David my father” (8:15). And how he pleaded with God: “that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place” (8:29). A study in contrasts, indeed. No contrasts in our God, though: “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). And, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).