Solomon’s Royal Palace: The Palace of the Forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:1 – 12)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 7:1 – 12

 

Questions:

1. Where did you live when you were 10 years old? What was memorable about it?

2. What weird features or bizarre objects adorn your home now?

3. Why does Solomon need so much room?

4. From its construction, what seems to be the function of the royal palace (verses 2 – 6)?

5. Why does the author describe so carefully buildings that were long since destroyed?

6. Are you involved in a project taking “years” to finish? Does faith make a difference?

7. Do you resent people in power who “living like kings”? Why?

8. Is it important that governments project wealth and power to other nations?

9. What does Jesus say about such power displays (Matthew 20:25 – 28)?

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Dedication of the Temple: Sacrificing and Rejoicing (1 Kings 8:62 – 66; 2 Chronicles 7:1 – 10)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 8:62- 66

2 Chronicles 7:1 – 10

 

Questions:

1. Which “big event” would you want to attend the most and why:

  • the Super Bowl?
  • a presidential inauguration?
  • the Cannes Film Festival?
  • Easter at the Vatican?

2. What was the best partly you ever attended? How long did it last? How long did you last?

3. During the past year, what events (historical and social) have you publically celebrated?

4. Take a look back at 1 Kings 8:2. What feast is celebrated this time of year (Leviticus 23:34, 41 – 43)? What irony do you see in the timing of the temple’s dedication?

5. In what loving ways did Solomon, the priests and Levites each worship God?

6. Get out your pocket calculators: If the priests kept the middle courtyard busy around the clock for 14 days, how many sacrifices per hour would they have had to make? Does this sound excessive to you? A waste? Or what?

7. What thoughts and feelings did the people take home with them from this great festival? What would have impressed you the most if you had been there?

8. What do you offer to God to express your gratitude and thanksgiving?

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Dedication of the Temple: Solomon’s Prayer (1 Kings 8:22 – 61; 2 Chronicles 6:12 – 42)

Scripture Text:

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1 Kings 8:22 – 61

2 Chronicles 6:12 – 42

 

Questions:

1. On which of the following occasions did you pray as a child:

  • before meals
  • during church
  • when in big trouble
  • before bed
  • never

2. Where do you feel closest to heaven? Why?

3. To whom were you most likely to go for help as a teenager?

  • your parents
  • minister, priest or rabbi
  • teacher
  • close friend

4. Where does Solomon position himself to lead his dedication prayer? What body position does he use?

5. Solomon begins his prayer by praising God for what? Why is praise so often a good way to begin a prayer?

6.Which of God’s promises has Solomon seen fulfilled already (1 Kings 8:23, 24)? What promises does he hope to see fulfilled in the future (verses 25 and 26)?

7. Notice 1 Kings 8:31, 32. What form of judgment is this “swearing an oath before the altar” (see also Numbers 5:19 – 28)?

8. How many different ways does Solomon appeal to God to hear his prayer in 2 Chronicles 6:18 – 21? Why all the repetition?

9. In 2 Chronicles 6:22 – 39, Solomon envisions seven different occasions which call for prayer in or toward the temple. Why do you think the occasion in verses 22 and 23 is mentioned first? What does this say about the priority of “justice for all” in a society?

10. How can Israel reverse the curses of disobedience (see Deuteronomy 28:15 – 24)? What do these passages say about repentance and salvation?

11. In 2 Chronicles 6:32 and 33, Solomon prays for foreigners. What would draw a foreigner to the temple? Why does Solomon ask the Lord to answer these “foreign prayers”? Does it seem to you that Solomon expects both to happen? How were people supposed to pray to God as captives in a land far away when they couldn’t reach the temple?

12. On what note does Solomon conclude his prayer in 2 Chronicles 40 – 42? Why would these words have been used later by pilgrims coming up to Jerusalem to pray at the temple (see Psalm 132:8 – 11)?

13. On a scale of 1 (“Jesus is my buddy”) to 10 (“God is so holy. Who can approach Him?), how would you rate your reverence toward God? In which direction do you want to grow – more casual or more formal? More spontaneous or more serious?

14. Do you consider afflictions to be punishment for sin? In what cases?

15. What prayers do you want to direct toward God’s heavenly temple? Do you first need to confess some sin?

16. If you were to fashion a group prayer, what parts of Solomon’s would be dropped, substituted, retained, assigned to others? Why are long pastoral or solo prayers not so popular today?

17. Where do you think God is when you pray? What do you feel is the best place and posture for personal prayer? For public prayer? Why?

18. Which of the following is the most important characteristic about God when you pray?

  • God’s nearness
  • God’s faithfulness
  • God’s forgiveness
  • God’s tenderness

19. Which specific situation mentioned by Solomon do you feel the need to pray for with a group of people?

20. Is Solomon’s prayer a model for national days of prayer? Why or why not?

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