Have you ever been to the grand opening of a new business? According to the local paper, it usually includes a representative of the Chamber of Commerce, some sort of brightly colored ribbon, and a very photogenic group of people—one of whom is holding an obnoxiously large pair of scissors for the photo-op.
1 Kings 8:22-53 is another grand opening of sorts, specifically for the temple in Jerusalem. God had set it on King David’s heart to build a permanent house for the Lord to dwell among his people. Fast-forward a few years and now David’s son, King Solomon, stands in front of the newly-constructed temple to dedicate it to the One whose presence will fill its innermost chamber. As extravagant and ornate as the temple was, it still paled in comparison to the glory of the One for whom it was built:
“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath . . . But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”1 Kings 8:22, 27
Solomon’s prayer reiterates to us that we worship a God who is transcendent, far superior to his creation in every conceivable way. Yet, the God who is transcendent is also immanent. His presence extends into the infinite expanses of the universe while simultaneously dwelling among his people. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours, yet he welcomes the pleas of his people for provision, protection, and pardon, as is the case in today’s passage.
So what do you need from the Lord today? Ask him for it. Yes, he is infinite and incomprehensible—but he also “gives to mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). And even though the heavens cannot contain him, “he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). So just ask.