Solomon's Prayer of Dedication
22 Then Solomon mstood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and nspread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, othere is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, pkeeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart; 24 you have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. eYou spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day. 25 Now therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, q‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ 26 rNow therefore, O God of Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you have spoken to your servant David my father.
27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, sheaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built! 28 Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you this day, 29 tthat your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you have said, u‘My name shall be there,’ that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place. 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.
46 “If they sin against you—jfor there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive kto the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47 yet lif they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, m‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ 48 nif they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you otoward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49 then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions that they have committed against you, and pgrant them compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (qfor they are your people, and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt, rfrom the midst of the iron furnace). 52 sLet your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to you. 53 For you separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, tas you declared through Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”
54 uNow as Solomon finished offering all this prayer and plea to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had vknelt with hands outstretched toward heaven. 55 And he stood and wblessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, 56 “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. xNot one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. 57 The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. yMay he not leave us or forsake us, 58 that he may zincline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. 59 Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, 60 that aall the peoples of the earth may know that bthe Lord is God; there is no other. 61 cLet your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
62 dThen ethe king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. 63 Solomon offered as peace offerings to the Lord 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord.
The Light of the Gospel
4 Therefore, having xthis ministry yby the mercy of God,1 we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced zdisgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice2 cunning or ato tamper with God's word, but bby the open statement of the truth cwe would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even dif our gospel is veiled, eit is veiled to fthose who are perishing. 4 In their case gthe god of this world dhas blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing hthe light of ithe gospel of the glory of Christ, jwho is the image of God. 5 For what kwe proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with lourselves as your servants3 for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, m“Let light shine out of darkness,” nhas shone in our hearts to give othe light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Treasure in Jars of Clay
7 But we have this treasure in pjars of clay, qto show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are rafflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but snot forsaken; tstruck down, but not destroyed; 10 ualways carrying in the body the death of Jesus, vso that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So wdeath is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have xthe same spirit of faith according to what has been written, y“I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that zhe who raised the Lord Jesus awill raise us also with Jesus and bbring us with you into his presence. 15 For cit is all for your sake, so that as dgrace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, eto the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. fThough our outer self4 is wasting away, gour inner self his being renewed day by day. 17 For ithis light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 jas we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.