The Plague of His Own Heart

1 Kings 8:38  “whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: 39  “then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), 40  “that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers.

What a prayer and what a challenge!  Lord, if there is anyone who knows the plague of his heart.  Solomon in coming before the Lord could have said, if the people know the plague or disease in their body, or struggle around about them; if they can see the need of the situation before them, then come and pray and Lord would you answer.  Instead Solomon says, if they know the plague of his own heart.  Few people truly are honest enough to know the sins of their own heart.  We can easily see the sins and corruption that is in the hearts of others, the false motives in others, the irritations that come from others.  But how well do we know our own heart?

Jer 17:9 says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?”  This verse from Jeremiah declares God’s perspective, but do we take the time to examine our motives and the inner working of our heart so that we are actually aware of our own personal condition?  Socrates says that “it is the unexamined life that is not worth living”.   This does not mean that we examine our heart and compare it to those who are doing more poorly then us, this would bring pride or arrogance.  “God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. (Lu 18:11) Rather we are to compare ourselves to the true standard of God’s word and the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This will always show a huge need within our heart.  This should humble us and then, because of the plague within our heart, we call out to God for His help. It is this calling to God, in this type of true awareness of the real condition of the heart, that Solomon asks God to hear, and forgive and act and to work in such as way that this person who prays in such a manner would “40  … live before you (God) in lifelong reverent and believing obedience on this land you (God) gave our ancestors.” (Message)

Oh, that we knew our hearts and would call unto the Lord, that He might touch us, change our motives and desires and that it would go well with us.  Lord help us to rightly search our hearts and then to call unto You for help.

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