Verses 1, 2 – Fire had descended from Heaven once before in this exact spot where the temple now stood. It had been on the threshing floor of Oran by David (1 Chronicles 21:25). The Glory of the Lord was so bright that no one could stand in His presence (Ezekiel 1:28; 10:4).
Verse 3 – This display of God’s glory was seen by everyone!
Verses 4-6 – The purpose of this dedication was to set apart the temple as a place to worship God. The sacrifice of this many animals took tremendous organization. The offerings were made virtually assembly line style, while the musicians took turns providing background music, just as David had envisioned.
Verse 7 – The altar was not big enough to hold all the sacrifices that day. Solomon consecrated the courtyard for this occasion, and the animals were sacrificed right there on the ground.
Verses 8, 9 – It was not often that entire nations came to one place for a celebration of joy but this was the same time as the “Festival of Booths).
Verse 10 – This celebration lasted three weeks. The people who had traveled, had set up tents for shelter to represent the time of wandering in the wilderness.
Verse 11 – The total time for building the temple, followed by the palace, was 20 years (1 Kings 6:38; 7:1).
Verse 12 – How many times have we prayed and not seen an immediate answer, or think maybe God didn’t hear us? Maybe as long as ten years earlier, Solomon had prayed at Gibeon. Now, God told Solomon He has answered his prayer. God always hears the prayer of His children. His promises are “Yes and Amen!” Rest assured He hears every prayer and an answer is on its way, in His timing. We need to remember, He works everything “Out” for our good.
Verses 13-16 – This answer from God refers to the times when the Israelites had become faithless to God and endured the consequences. In chapter 6, Solomon asked God to make provision for the people when they sinned. God answered with four conditions for forgiveness (1) humble yourself by admitting… (2) asking for forgiveness is a part of admitting we are wrong (3) seek God continually in every aspect of our lives (4) turn from that old way of doing things. Believe right and we will do right. True repentance is more than just talk. We should see a major change in our behavior. This forgiveness is for any person–regardless of race, or geography location. Most people hit rock bottom of their lives and realize that they just can’t live like the way they have been living. Christ died for the World!
Verses 17-22 – Sin is deceptively attractive and Solomon eventually turned from the things of God. He ended up having over 900 concubines and wives, some were very pagan. He even built temples for some. Turning away from God only brings destruction and heartaches in our lives. God’s conditions are as clear as they were in the days of Solomon.