6 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 6 FEBRUARY 1777)
He knows our hearts
‘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 8:38–39
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Jeremiah 17:5–10
The Lord gave Israel to understand from first to last, and especially when he was affording them signal mercies, that he knew them and knew what returns they would make to him. He knew them, and long experience taught them to know themselves. Therefore it was often sounded in their ears, Not for your own sakes [Ezekiel 36:32]. The song of Moses was published with this view before they entered Canaan, that the grant might be known to be wholly of grace. The most glorious day perhaps ever seen by Israel was at the dedication of the first temple. The Lord had wrought wonderfully for them, subdued their enemies, given them rest, plenty riches, a king who was the wisest of men. The temple, built by divine direction, was finished in all its beauty and glory; the people, to appearance, all of one heart and mind; the sacrifices immense, the congregation innumerable, the glory of the Lord in view filling the house in token of his favour and acceptance. Yet the Lord then saw a day coming, which they were little aware of, when Israel would be delivered up into the hands of their enemies and their temple destroyed—not one stone left upon another. The prayer of Solomon upon this occasion was doubtless pronounced under the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit, and gives throughout a prophetic intimation of the changes that would take place.
FOR MEDITATION: Take heed to thyself, for there the principal danger lies. The world and the devil will undoubtedly spread all their snares, and join all their force against thee, but thy principal danger lies at home. As nothing from without entering into a man defileth him, so it may be said that nothing from without that befalleth a man can either hurt or hinder him in his spiritual progress unless he himself become one of the party. Thou that art devoted to God, take heed of thyself.
SERMON: 1 KINGS 8:38–39 [1/6]