Solomon Built the Temple (1 Kings 6-9)
Moments of distress or pain and moments of rebellion or wandering often function as God’s classroom for His children to learn to trust Him. These experiences force us to either lean in to God or to leave—to turn from God or to trust in God. These moments are not obstacles to our faith but opportunities that God provides to grow our faith like no other.
In 1 Kings 8:22-53, King Solomon was praying at the dedication of the temple. God had fulfilled His promise to King David, and the people had a tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness and provision.
In Solomon’s prayer, we see several things that He believed about God. Among those, we learn that Solomon believed the only right response to feeling far from God is to turn the direction of our focus from ourselves to God as our only hope and to turn the direction of our lives from rebellion toward obedience to the Lord.
The temptation for believers when we feel far from God is not to move toward Him but rather to sit at a distance or move further away, in fear that what has caused our sense of distance prevents Him from wanting us near. But this is simply not true.
Solomon’s prayer reveals that God wants His people near. Even amid rebellion or trial, the Lord is the only way to turn.
When you hit moments of distress, pain, rebellion, or wandering, is your tendency to move away from God or remain at a distance? Or do you find yourself turning your focus away from yourself and toward Him? If there is any rebellious way in you, turn toward God’s gracious hand of forgiveness. “LORD God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below, who keeps the gracious covenant with your servants who walk before you with all their heart” (1 Kings 8:23).
This is the God who wants you near when you wander and wants your heart when you are hurting. Do not doubt Him, for He longs for us to draw near to Him as He has drawn near to us through Christ. Because of the work of Jesus, who drew near to us by humbling Himself, taking on the form of a man and enduring death on a cross, we too can humbly draw near to God.
Check out The Gospel Project At Home for resources designed to help you lead a family worship experience as well as suggestions for morning and evening prayer times and family activities.
FAMILY TALKING POINTS
This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.
- Babies & Toddlers: When we trust in Jesus, He forgives us and is always with us.
- Younger Preschool: The temple was a place where God was with His people and people could worship God. When we trust in Jesus, He forgives us and is always with us, ready to help us.
- Older Preschool: The temple was a place where God met with His people. God wants to be with us. As part of His plan to save people from sin, God sent Jesus to earth to be with people.
- Kids: The temple was a place where God met with His people. The people could go there to make sacrifices and worship God. Today, when we trust in Jesus, He is with us wherever we go. We can look to Him for forgiveness and help.
BIG PICTURE QUESTION & ANSWER
This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Younger Preschool: What is mercy? Mercy is when God does not give us the punishment that we deserve.
- Older Preschool: What is mercy? Mercy is when God does not give us the punishment that we deserve.
- Kids: What is mercy? Mercy is when God does not give us the punishment that we deserve.
This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.
- Babies & Toddlers: The Lord is a kind and loving God. Exodus 34:6
- Younger Preschool: The Lord is a kind and loving God. Exodus 34:6
- Older Preschool: The LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth. Exodus 34:6
- Kids: The LORD—the LORD is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. Exodus 34:6-7
** Next week: Solomon’s Sin Divided the Kingdom (1 Kings 10–12)