“Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive.”– 1 Kings 8:30
It is said that the Pharisee stood in the temple praying for all to hear and see him. The posture of the heart was demonstrated in that action. It was a far cry from where Solomon began. When Solomon dedicated The Temple, he was on his knees with his hands lifted to heaven (1 Kings 8:54).
In his supplication to God, Solomon mentions many sins that the nation of Israel would commit. It was undoubtedly prophetic, yet concurrent with human nature. Solomon understood that hearts are always prone to walk away from their Maker. He stated clearly, “for there is no one who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). This caused him to pray for the times when people of Israel would “sin against his neighbor.”
Solomon prayed in advance for the occasions when God’s people “are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned” against the Lord. And Solomon also lifted up those days when Israel would have no rain. When they would be plagued with famine and sickness, all because they had turned from the Lord. Solomon interceded for his country, but it was not that God would only forgive the people; it was that they would repent first. Solomon even prayed for the forgiveness of a foreigner…amazing! When there is repentance, then God hears from heaven. That is when our Heavenly Father promised to forgive.
Repentance is changing the mind as you turn from an old life of sin and turn to Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is going in the opposite direction of any vice. It comes when there is a personal realization of human sin. It is “when each one knows the plague of his own heart and spreads out his hands.” The posture of the body must match the stance of the heart. When there is repentance, then there is forgiveness. When there is forgiveness, then there is justification, which is the pardoning of sins (Romans 4:5-8). We must ask ourselves today what another wonderful Christian has asked before, “is your repentance up to date?”
“What are believers saved from? From their former position under the wrath of God, the dominion of sin, and the power of death; from their natural condition of being mastered by the world, the flesh, and the devil; from the fears that a sinful life engenders, and from the many vicious habits that were part of it.”– J.I. Packer