Now it's time for Solomon to make a royal speech. He stands up on a platform made of bronze and addresses the people.
Yes, Solomon has built God a house. But the credit for this goes to God.
The people of Israel need to know that Yahweh has been with them since the very beginning. He's loved them and kept his promises to them even through the tough times.
Up until now, God never felt the need to pick a king or a favorite city where he wanted to live. But then he chose David and his descendants to build a Temple for him in Jerusalem.
David wanted to build the house, but God told him that his son would be the builder.
(We learned in 1 Chronicles that God thought David had too much blood on his hands.)
God kept his promise. He gave the people Solomon and allowed him to build the Temple without any interference.
Solomon may have supervised, but God was obviously the brains behind the operation. Solomon's so humble.
He reminds the people that there's no god like their God. All those other deities can eat their hearts out because Yahweh is totally loving and faithful to his people. When God makes a promise, he keeps it. You won't catch him backing down.
It's just like that time God promised that David's family would always rule in Israel. Solomon really, really hopes the Almighty will stick by that.
Of course, he also realizes that part of this deal is that he and his descendants will have to keep obeying God forever. But seriously, how hard should that be?
Then Solomon wonders if God will really live in this house. Even Heaven can't contain God's majesty, so how can this little man-made Temple be adequate? Good question.
However God makes this happen, Solomon begs the Almighty to stick around long enough to at least hear the prayers of the people in the Temple.
Maybe it's people who are sinning against each other, or breaking their vows, or getting beat down by enemies. Maybe there's no rain for crops to grow or people are starving. Maybe there are non-Jews who run into problems. Or maybe Israel's up against a terrible enemy. These are the times that people will really need their God.
Solomon asks God to listen to the people when they're in need. If they come to him with their problems and if they're faithful and they admit their faults, Solomon thinks that God should forgive them and help them through their tough times. He's merciful like that.
Seriously, even if the people of Israel disobey God and he gets mad at them and kicks them out of Jerusalem, Solomon just knows God won't forget about them. If the people see the error of their ways, God will take them back.