Monday, June 2, 2014

1 Kings 8:35-39 -- On Curing the Plague

"When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:
Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.
If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;
What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:
Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)"
1 Kings 8:35-39

This is part of a prayer of Solomon, dedicating the temple.  In this specific part, he asks the Lord to remember us when we repent.  If we have sinned and thus there is no rain, then if we repent, Solomon pleads with the Lord to bless us with rain, and forgive us, and teach us to do better. :)  He mentions famine and sicknesses, and specifically "the plague of his own heart."  ... We'll know specifically our internal plagues, and if we repent and pray and ask the Lord to forgive us, Solomon prays that the Lord will hear us, and forgive us, and "give to every man according to his ways," mentioning that the Lord knows our hearts.
The idea of the plague of our own hearts is interesting, and it goes along with the idea of giving to everyone according to our ways.  God knows our hearts... he knows our righteous desires, and he also knows the evil, or the plagues, in our hearts.  When we choose to act according to the good, or the bad, within ourselves, we are rewarded for it accordingly.  And because we have good and bad inside us... purity and plague... we need this prayer, and so many more.  We need the scriptures to learn from, we need God to teach us the way to walk.  We need to learn how to find wholeness and peace and how to choose the good and purge the bad.
Today, let's remember that we need God, that we need prayer, that we need help.  And let's act on the good, and start curing the plague within ourselves.  Let's repent and learn to be whole and good.  Let's welcome the rain and the healing that God grants us when we repent, and work to change our ways for the better.

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