It is exciting for us today to witness seven young ladies go through the waters of baptism. It is always a great joy hearing and seeing people publicly confessing their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ! This is what baptism is all about – a public proclamation of a person’s commitment to Jesus and how they identify themselves with Him. Jesus said, “Repent and be baptised and follow me!” All followers of Christ first repent of their sins, confessing their need for forgiveness from a holy God, and then secondly, asking Jesus to become Lord of their lives. They are very aware that salvation only comes from all that Jesus has done for them through His life, death and resurrection. Salvation is by grace! Baptism comes next as the person follows Jesus through the waters of baptism. Jesus did not need baptism but He was baptised to fulfill all righteousness. His baptism was an example to all His followers. Our seven young candidates are simply being obedient to the command of Jesus and publicly testifying to their dependence on Him for salvation. They also demonstrate that they are follows of Jesus because they are symbolically dying to self and being just like the Christ and rising to new life and a new direction. Yes, it is a special day for all of us as we witness this public testimony.
There is much for us to learn from King Solomon in today’s text. We see a wise king’s heart revealed in a prayer that he prays on the day of dedication of the completed temple. And what a prayer it is – a prayer of thanksgiving; a prayer of supplication and a prayer of dedication. What stands out in this prayer for me is King Solomon’s wisdom when it comes to the reality of his people. After Solomon acknowledges God’s faithfulness, greatness and provision he prays that the Lord would not grow weary in being a forgiving God toward his people. Solomon clearly sees that the Jews will sin and sin and sin again. He pleads with God not be slow with forgiveness. It is quite a remarkable prayer when you study it.
I also not that this wise king (at this moment in time) also had a heart for the nations. He fully understood that God has chosen the Jews to make God known to the nations and that He alone is God and that there is no other. As I reflected on this prayer it made me think about the New Covenant that we are under. It made me realise how blessed we are to be under grace. The doctrine of justification came clearly into view and I rejoiced that I have been saved by grace through faith. What an amazing God we have who loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son as a ransom for us!