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In these passages is the account of Solomon dedicating the Temple and praying to God while kneeling on top of the altar. Solomon’s prayer was insightful in that he prayed that God would restore Israel if and when they turned from God. Solomon must have known this would happen, and he prayed that God would forgive Israel.

God spoke to Solomon again in the night saying that God had chosen Jerusalem as His place of residence on Earth. God affirmed that He would forgive Israel for turning from God, if they turned back to Him. God said, “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locus to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people, and my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

God is a forgiving God who will forgive us if we repent of our sins, if we sincerely turn from them. God will punish people and nations for sinning against Him. However, God always provides a way to return to His good graces.

If we sin we should expect to have consequences for the sin, but we should not give up hope. Rather, we must humble ourselves and pray for God’s forgiveness, knowing that we will be forgiven and again allowed to be close to Him.