I guess no one could really accuse Solomon of looking at things through rose-colored glasses. As he prays he envisions all the things that might happen to God’s people in the future. And all of these things seem to be bad. Solomon envisions a future in which the people sin against God, thus ultimately leading them to be captured by their enemies and carried away. And, of course, this is the very thing that did indeed happen. Solomon was an accurate predictor of the future.
And how could Solomon know how things would go? He knew one thing about us humans – everyone sins (v46). This is not the most positive note to strike in this dedication prayer. People don’t want to hear this, for we want to believe much better things of themselves. They want to look into the future and imagine things getting better and better. What presidential candidate would make a speech in which he would declare that the future of America will probably have all kinds of problems because we are all sinners? Nevertheless, this is closer to the truth than one might imagine.
And what does Solomon pray in the face of this dire expectation. He prays that, when the day comes when we will realize our wickedness and repent of our sin, that in that day God would forgive us. Solomon prays for God’s mercy and grace. When we pray for our land and for our world, for our people and even for our Churches it is not bad, once in a while, to remember that everyone sins, and that we need to ask that God would grant us His mercy.