Todays readings… 1 Kings 9, Jeremiah 35, Mark 9
“LET YOUR HEART THEREFORE BE WHOLLY TRUE”
Our Old Testament readings today tied up with each other. Our chapter in 1 Kings contains God’s response to Solomon’s prayer of dedication which we read yesterday. Today we read, “The LORD appeared to Solomon …. The LORD said to him, ‘I have heard your prayer and your plea … I have consecrated this house … My eyes and my heart will be there for all time … But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children … the house that I have consecrated by my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.” [9 v.2,3,6,7] Tragically, all this happened.
In the last verse of yesterday’s 34th chapter of Jeremiah we read, “Behold, I will command, declares the Lord, and I will bring them (the Babylonians) back to this city. And they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire.” Within 2 or 3 years this happened and the City and its Temple were destroyed. The casting out of the people and the destruction of the Temple occurred some 330 years after its dedication, what an utter tragedy.
Yet Solomon’s prayer remains true and is as meaningful to us as it was to the sincere God fearing men and women that heard it. We notice how Solomon, after he had offered his prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God, then prayed for the people, saying, “The LORD our God be with us … that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways … Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the LORD, be near to the LORD our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people … Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD … “ [1 Kings 8 v.57-61]
We are just like the people Solomon prayed for! May our hearts be “wholly true to the LORD.” May we be there to worship in God’s future Temple. In 2 days’ time we will read how Jesus quoted God’s words through Isaiah (56 v.7), “My house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations”. One day soon this everlasting Temple will be built – for God’s Kingdom will be here.
May we be there! How wondrous – far surpassing our present imagining! But will we be really there?
‘We make the answer now!’