Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 5&6, Ezekiel 42, John 7
“RENDER TO EACH WHOSE HEART YOU KNOW”
In today’s reading of 2 Chronicles ch. 6 we have Solomon’s remarkable prayer at the dedication of the wonderful Temple he had just completed. It was constructed of cedar, but just about all the interior had been overlaid with gold. Imagine it! The greatest focus of the gold was on the Most Holy Place where Israel’s God, the only real God was to “dwell” between the cherubim above the ark.
Solomon “knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly … and spread out his hands toward heaven” [v.13] He was on a raised bronze platform about 4.5 ft. (1.4 metres) high. In his humility he is fully aware of the unimaginable greatness of God. His words include, “but will God indeed dwell with man on earth? Behold heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you …” [v.18] Solomon then enumerates the various situations which will cause men and women to offer prayers here – and – towards here.
Verse 29 onwards particularly caught our attention. “Whatever prayer, whatever plea is made …. each knows his own affliction and his own sorrow … then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his (or her) ways, for you, you only know the hearts of the children of mankind”
A great amount of food for mediation is in those words. Our Heavenly Father is able to “tune in” to all hearts and there are hearts that he has a relationship with – to “know” them! This perception of Solomon reflects the words of his father David in Psalm 11, “The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of men. The LORD tests the righteous … he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.” [v.4,5,7].
We read two days ago the words of Jesus to those critical of him, “I know that you do not have the love of God within you” [John 5 v.42].
God and Jesus know our hearts! Does that affect your life, starting with the way you think – for a significant portion of each day? What is “within” us matters more than anything else in our lives.