Have you ever been to a dedication ceremony? I think of baby dedication day at Church. It is a sweet time to watch a mom and dad dedicate their young child to the Lord. There is always at least one child that steals the show. The pastor prays a special prayer of blessing over the child and the parents. After the ceremony the family might gather and celebrate this special day.
This is what happens today in our reading of 1 Kings 8. Solomon has prayed his prayer of dedication for the temple and now is time for celebration. This was a huge celebration. The time was the Feast of Shelters.
Then Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters in the presence of the Lord our God. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. The celebration went on for fourteen days in all – seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven days for the Festival of Shelters.
1 Kings 8:65
Solomon spoke before the crowd. He told them of his hope that God would show Himself just as faithful to them as He had to their ancestors. He also knew that the people would need God’s assistance to remain faithful themselves. Without God’s help they were powerless to live in obedience.
May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancesotrs; may he never leave us or abandon us. May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands, decrees, and regulations that he gave our ancestors.
1 Kings 8:57-58
The people had just experienced the amazing completion of the Temple and listened to their King dedicate it to God. The bottom line is that now they were to live a faithful and obedient life. The temple would serve as a physical reminder of God’s glory, but their lives were meant to be a demonstration to all others of what a relationship with God looks like.
After the celebration the people went to their homes full of joy.
After the festival was over, Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad because the Lord had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel.
1 Kings 8:66
May we remember what God has done. He fulfills His promises just as He did to David, Solomon and the people of that time. Just as we present our babies to the Lord, may we daily give dedicate ourselves to Him and live a faithful life.