Solomon & the Temple

Read: 1 Kings 8:22-53; Matthew 24:1-2

As we return to the story of Israel, we pick up with David’s son, Solomon, who succeeds him as King of Israel. Now that Israel had become settled in the land God had promised them, King Solomon brought his father’s dream to fruition by building a physical temple, as a substitute for the more mobile tabernacle of their wilderness wanderings.

The completion of the Temple should have been the onset of Israel’s golden age, with King David passing on the mantle to Solomon and the “last piece” of Israel’s settlement in the land being completed. The same way as with the Tabernacle, the Temple was meant to be a place where God dwelled, and where the people could meet with God. But in Solomon’s prayer, it seems like he already knows how sin will invade the lives of the people of Israel, by the way he says “when”- “When anyone wrongs their neighbor…” “When Israel sins against you…” and so on. Because of this, in each of these prayers, Solomon pleads with the Lord to “listen” to their cries and forgive them, and remember the covenant that holds them together.

While Solomon’s reign started out well, it eventually initiated a downward spiral that led to the destruction of Israel, and consequently, the Temple and priesthood became corrupted as well. However, despite all of this, God was not tied down to the physical Temple or the city of Jerusalem- God heard His people while they were in exile and eventually sent Jesus to be the Temple in its truest form: the place where Heaven meets Earth.

Today, we don’t have a physical Temple at the center of our lives, but we do know that God hears us when we pray, no matter where we are. We also know that through the Holy Spirit, the Church is meant to represent the Body of Christ, which Jesus Himself referred to as a Temple to God. In fact, we are called once again into this Temple to partner with God’s Spirit as representatives and places where Heaven and Earth meet, and that is such good news, for us as well as those around us!


  1. Which part of Solomon’s prayer stuck out to you most?
  2. When you’ve prayed before, have you always felt like God was really listening?
  3. What was the point of building a physical Temple for Israel if God didn’t need to live in it and could not be contained by it, and if it would eventually be destroyed?
  4. Have you ever experienced a time that felt like Heaven and Earth collided? Describe it.
  5. Read 1 Peter 2:9. Does anything change in how you understand this verse in light of what we’ve studied about the Temple?

Supporting Resources