All-Inclusive God

In Solomon's prayer regarding the Lord's temple we see a reflection of a loving and just God.

1 Kings 8.35-45

Reference:  v.43a '…then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you…'

Explore:  I've recently taken a Body Attack class at my local gym.  This is a group aerobics class that brings some boxing moves into a high impact workout.  I really enjoy the class, the instructor is lovely and I find I can follow the moves easily.  One thing I can not do, however, is when the instructor tells me to visualise the person in front of me to give an uppercut to or a high kick, I just can not even imagine doing such a thing to a person.  While I enjoy the exercise I can't bring myself to think such violent thoughts, even just within my immagination.
There is a lot of violence in the Old Testament.  Some would conclude that our God does not value life with the many great wars that went on with Israel.  However, God is not a violent god.  In Solomon's prayer regarding the Lord's temple we see a reflection of a loving and just God.  In vv. 41-43 Solomon is asking God to listen to the foreigner who crises out to him because His Name is great and many will know of Him.

Application:  It seems that sometimes we can justify any action and say that we felt God was leading us to do so.  And yet often we are fulfilling our own desires and not that of a loving, gracious, all-inclusive God.  While this prayer of Solomon from vv.23-58 is quite long, it is beautifully written and it draws on the glorious aspects of God that we sometimes only assign to the 'New Testament God'.  We mustn't reduce our definition of God to just one story but continue to learn and grow in our understanding of our might, ever-lasting, all-inclusive Father.

Prayer:  Lord, we know that you do listen to the 'foreigners', in fact you hear the cry of all people.  May we always cry out to you at all times.  Amen.

What characteristics of God resound with you best?  Do these change according to the season of life you may be in?

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.