Solomon is praying. With hands stretched out and all of Israel his witness, Solomon is praying. His prayer is orderly. At first. Then his thanks begins.
Am I still speaking words in order? Where is my thanks?
Solomon who stands. No. Solomon, who is God’s chosen king of God’s chosen people, “Kneels down on his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven.”(2 Chronicles 6:13)
His prayer is a request. A verification of what they have done and who he is and what they may become. Solomon wants to be “kept”.
The Hebrew word for “keep” is Shamar, which means “to hedge about (as with thorns), to guard, protect, attend to.
Solomons’ prayer is a man on knees with fist clenched around a rope holding on to a promise given to his father from a God who orders the world. I imagine his voice quiet strength. He knows where the failure lies and where it can and probably will come again. A man gazed upon by the children of the Most High. And aren’t we all there?
My children who tiptoe down the stairs each morning searching for a familiar face. They have heard the promise that I will see them in the morning, but who do they find? Sure, I am there. My form awaits. But who do they really find? Am I being “kept”? Have I been on my knees and have I asked to be included in this hedge? Are they even aware that there is a hedge? Or have I stormed and picked and kicked aside the kneeling bench, too busy, too proud.
In that fresh new temple God comes. But not in this glowing fluffy light of white, instead He fills the house with a cloud. “Anan”, the Hebrew tells us. A cloud that is stormy. Nimbus, thunder-cloud. “So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14).
Even with the potential of storm, Solomon prays. He knows where there is glory. He knows the darkness withholds the Light.
If today brings darkness, may we seek the pure Light. May we kneel before the storm and ask to be kept.
In pure search,