This lesson is an adaptation from the Gospel Project lesson on this Scripture passage. When the temple was complete Solomon praised God before His people reminding them of His promises. From the study of Solomon’s prayer after the completion of the temple, the students will discover that God keeps all His promises. This lesson was prepared for older elementary students and can be adapted for your ministry’s needs.
Bible Passage: 1 Kings 6-8
Bible Story Title: Solomon Builds Temple and Prays
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List: Bibles, activity sheets, pencils,
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God keeps all of His promises.
Learning Activity #1: Melt or freeze activity (From Gospel Project activities for this lesson) As an introduction to the lesson guide the students to stand up and have enough room to move without hitting other students. Explain that you are going to name something that will last forever (permanent) and something that can be destroyed (temporary). If the item is permanent they freeze in a pose like a statue. If it is temporary they will ‘melt’ (slide down to the ground).
(Ice cream, car, rock, toys, God’s Word, God’s forgiveness, happiness, money, friendship, Jesus) If the students provide different responses allow them to explain why they made their choice. If time permits choose a student to name an item and the class decides if it’s permanent or temporary.)
Learning Activity #2: Before class have Scripture references regarding the temple furnishings and have the students look at the picture you provide of the temple and its furnishings and determine the names of the articles from the Scripture references you provide. (The Gospel Project has a prepared activity sheet for this but here is an optional picture you could print that has the items on it.)
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in His statutes and keeping His commandments, as at this day.”
1 Kings 8:1-13 Bible Lesson: Solomon builds temple and prays
(Open with prayer)
Melt or Freeze Activity
Earlier we discovered items that were built and place in the temple Solomon built. What things do you think are temporal and which do you think are eternal? (Students responses will vary depending on their knowledge of the Bible) The building and all its furnishings are temporal. They were items that symbolized things in heaven and pointed to the Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus who would shed His blood for sins once for all. (Hebrews 8:5, 9:1-10:22) God’s presence and His Word are eternal.
Building the temple took seven years. After the temple was complete all the holy furniture used to offer sacrifices and worship God was put in place.
One final important piece of furniture needed to be placed in the temple. Let’s open our Bibles to 1 Kings 8. Read verse 1. What still needed to be placed in the temple? (The ark of the Lord’s covenant) What do you know about this ark? (Allow responses)
Only the priests could be in charge of the ark of the Covenant and they had to carry it on poles. If anyone touched the box they would die. (2 Samuel 6:6-7) They placed the ark in the Holy Place. Let’s read 1 Kings 8:10-11.Why couldn’t the priests continue to serve in the temple? (God’s presence in the form of a cloud filled His temple)
Solomon praised God before all His people reminding them of God’s promises to his father David regarding building a temple and how God had fulfilled those promises by allowing Solomon to build that temple.
Read 1 Kings 8:22-23. Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord and spread out his hands toward heaven. He began to pray to God before all of God’s people. From Solomon’s prayer we can learn some truths about God’s character.
All present-Omnipresent: Let’s see what we can learn about God from verse 27. What does this verse say about God? He can’t be contained. He is Spirit is all present…meaning He is everywhere.
Hears and answers prayer: 1 Kings 8:28-30 How many times does Solomon ask God to hear? (5-6 times depending on if you determine give attention as a phrase asking God to hear)
Forgives sin: 1 Kings 8:33-34 When God’s people confess their sin and turn from that sin God forgives.
All knowing-Omniscient: 1 Kings 8:39 God knows the hearts of all people.
After Solomon prays he gets up off his knees blesses God’s people. (1Kings 8:54-55)
Let’s read 1 Kings 8:56-61. God does keep all His promises! He promised He would not abandon His people. Unfortunately God’s people were sinful and abandoned God. God sent many prophets warning His people to turn away from their sin and turn back to Him or they would face punishment. They didn’t obey God and this beautiful temple was destroyed by God’s enemies. (2 Chronicles 36:15-19)
God promised David that someone from his family would reign forever. Who is the King who will reign forever? (Jesus)
God sent His Son Jesus who was born from the family of David. He first came into the world to save all people from their sins. He died on the cross in our place because the wages of death is sin. He was buried and rose again the third day and all who believe in Him are saved from their sins and receive the gift of eternal life. The moment a person believes the Holy Spirit comes to live in the person’s heart. God’s Holy Spirit empowers the Believer to obey God’s Word and live a life that pleases Him. The body of a believer is the temple where God lives. Jesus has promised those who believe in Him that He will never abandon them. Hebrews 13:5b God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Matthew 28:20b “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
If you are a believer are you allowing God’s Holy Spirit to control your life? Would others say your words and actions make them think of Jesus? Your body is where the Holy Spirit lives. (“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Are you taking care of your body? Do you protect your eyes and ears from seeing and hearing things that do not please God?
If you are not a believer today you can turn from your sins, believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved.
Let’s close in prayer.
1 Kings 8:1-13 Review Questions:
- How long did it take for the temple to be built?
- Name an item that was in or at the temple. (Altar, curtain, ark of the covenant, water basins, lamp stands)
- What are some things you learned about God’s character from Solomon’s prayer?
- Where is God’s temple now? (In the lives of followers of Jesus/believers)
- What was new to you from our Bible lesson? How can it help you as you walk with Jesus this week?
1 Kings 8:1-13 New International Version (NIV)
The Ark Brought to the Temple
8 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up, 5 and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.
6 The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. 8 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.
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