May 13

Only you know what is in every human heart. I Kings 8:39 

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Our verse from I Kings comes from Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication of the wonderful new temple that he has caused to be built. I read through the eighth chapter starting at verse 23 to put this verse into a bit more context. In this prayer he starts by praising God for all He has done in fulfilling His promises.

Two things stood out: first was the long list of things Solomon wants God to listen to and grant when the people pray to Him. Rescue from locusts, judge of disputes, relief from famine and lack of rain. All in all quite a list. Then, in the middle Solomon sums it up – only God “knows what is in every human heart.”  All these things prayed for are things God already knows about. Perhaps we need to look back a bit at verse 25 –a reminder that God expects to continue following His Way. God knows what is in our hearts, but prayer is what we need to do to keep our relationship with God. We need to follow. We also read that the Holy Spirit prays for us in Romans 8:36, “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

The second thing that stood out was when Solomon was saying how nothing can contain God. Specifically he was speaking of the new temple and whether God could dwell there when even the highest heaven cannot contain God. Even though the temple was a focus for the people, a place they could go to pray and feel God’s presence, they were never apart from God. From far away they could they could direct their prayers to the God who is everywhere, all the time.

In our time, when we cannot go into the actual building of our church to be with other worshippers, we can still be in the presence of God.  Jesus told us that when 2 or 3 are gathered together, He is there. He left out the part about being together on Zoom, but I think He includes that along with other social media ways of gathering.  The God who knows all of our hearts, who sent His Son as our Savior, and provided the Holy Spirit to pray for and with us, is always with us wherever we are.

Lord God, you know our human hearts. Keep us from just sitting back and having a sedentary faith. Help us use our legs and arms and voice in your service. Thank you for loving us unconditionally and for giving us grace, mercy, and eternal life. May we respond today and each day with faithfulness, hope, and love In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Chris Gabel