In our text today, Solomon intercedes for the foreigner who has come to be in Israel because of the reputation of the Lord. The reputation of the God of Israel is the story of the power of God demonstrated when God set Israel free from slavery in Egypt....
Lord, help me to love the strangers as you love them, to care for them as you care for them, and to treat them justly. Amen.
God had prevented David from building a temple in Jerusalem but then permitted David’s son Solomon to build it. In First Kings, Solomon places the ark of the covenant in the holiest place, and God’s presence descends. The psalmist rejoices in the Temple and would rather be in its courts than anywhere else because that is where God dwells. The New Testament readings remind us that the people of God have always met with resistance. The author of Ephesians compares living the Christian life to going into battle, so we must be prepared. Jesus also meets with resistance in John. His teachings are too hard for many to accept, so they abandon him. When we face resistance, therefore, we should not be surprised; but we are also not alone.
Read 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43. How does your faith inform the hospitality you show to friends? To strangers?
Read Psalm 84. How do you find joy in the Lord? Recall a recent time when you felt a deep sense of this joy.
Read Ephesians 6:10-20. How do truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and God’s word help you live boldly as an ambassador of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Read John 6:56-69. How do you respond to Jesus’ question: “Does this offend you?” This teaching was hard for his disciples. Where do you struggle with it?
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