1 Kings chapter 8 is an incredibly moving, earnest, and humbling portion of Scripture. King Solomon had just finished building the temple of the Lord, and he had gone all out for this magnificent piece of architecture. As he put the finishing touches on it, he dedicated it to God. But rather than being prideful in his accomplishment, he got on his knees and literally begged God to cover this temple and more importantly, the people of Israel themselves.
What really struck me was how in verse 30 he started to pray for forgiveness on behalf on the nation – not for the past but for the future. He realized their lack of endurance based on their cyclical patterns of idolatry but asked God to see them through it, that He would be there for them when they repent. And he repeated it over and over so genuinely.
Then I came to the recognition that this prayer was fulfilled completely in Jesus Christ. He died 2,000 years ago so that our futures could be forgiven. Reading through this passage, I identify with Solomon and the Israelites. I see my own unworthiness as I regret to realize that sin will be an inevitable part of my future. But I joyfully hold onto the fact that in spite of my unworthiness, God’s mercy and love will see me through it and can even prevent it. He has lifted me up and has put His name on myself, and His eyes are open to me night and day. That is heavy love! And I don’t want to take it for granted like I so often do.