1 Kings 8:37 “If” and “Then”

1 Kings 8:37 (KJV)
If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;

Solomon’s prayer of dedication is thirty verses long. Nine times he uses the conjunction “if.” Seven times he requests of God, “Then hear thou [their prayer].[1]” This is an unusually long prayer by the standards of the Bible and one that would be challenging to compose. Solomon seems to try to think of every possible event that might happen in the future of his nation. The formula he repeats is,

If[2] + (an unknown variable) + prayer = “Then hear thou.”

Solomon, in God’s wisdom, could foresee certain possibilities in Israel. He could not anticipate them all. He did not pray that God would answer all the possibilities ahead of time. He prayed that God’s people would pray in whatever the event and that, when they prayed, God would hear and answer.

Life is filled with any number of possibilities. We would never be able to enumerate them all. What we can do is, regardless of the event,

  • Turn to the Lord 
  • Pray, and 
  • Trust the Lord to answer

It is a reasonable prayer to ask God to hear whatever our prayer, whenever we turn to Him in prayer.

[1] His prayer included that Israel, in the future, would pray.

[2] In the event of

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1 Kings 8:37 “If” and “Then”

Author: marvinmck

Marvin McKenzie was born in the Pacific Northwest and became a Christian at the age of eighteen. He has been in the Baptist ministry for thirty years and has planted and pastored churches in Washington and Oregon. Besides his pastoral ministry, Marvin has been actively involved in training men for the Baptist ministry. He has conducted local church Bible Institutes in those churches he has pastored, from which a number of men have entered the ministry. Marvin also served as: Vice President of the Western States Baptist Bible Fellowship, The Board of Directors of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA, Dean of men at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, Executive Vice President of Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College in San Dimas, CA and Executive Vice President of Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City, OK. Marvin is married to Anita. They have two sons, Bohannan and Caleb. Both are Baptist pastors in Washington State. Marvin enjoys camping, fishing and horses.

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