We are studying 1 Kings 8:14-21 for Sunday, January 12. This text contains Solomon’s speech in dedication of the newly-constructed Temple in Jerusalem. Here are a few questions to consider as we think about what this text means for us:

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What does the text say explicitly about God? Does this explicit description imply anything about God? What? Why do we say that?

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What does the text say explicitly about divine promises? What can we infer from that? What do our inferences lead us to expect when it comes to divine promises? Why is that?

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What is the difference between having a tabernacle (tent) and having a “house” (Temple) for the Ark of the Covenant? What does the construction of the Temple seem to suggest about the state of the people of Israel at that time, do we think? Considering that this move concerns at least the place of worship of God, and possibly also the way worship can be conducted, what seems to be the significance of this move for the people? For Solomon? For God? Why do we say this?

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On the principle that the Bible is written “for us” but not “to us,” what does the passage seem to say to the people of its own times – that is, the people “to whom” it was written? Why do we say that? What can we take away from that message today, for ourselves? Why do we say that?

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Degas painting of woman in red hat and man in conversationg over papers on a table