After offering a sincere prayer to the Lord, including a plea for remembrance even in times of sin, Solomon turns to the people. It’s the people’s turn to receive a word. That word is “faithfulness.”
Faithfulness. Solomon reminds the people of the faithfulness of the Lord. He also calls them to faithfulness as a nation. I cannot help but state that the faithfulness of a nation begins with individual faithfulness.
Solomon knew the people were listening as he laid his heart for them before the Lord at the altar. His focus during that prayer was directed to the Lord but he brought the people into it with him. He prayed that their hearts would remain true while also admitting that he knew the enormity of that task and the fact that they would fail. He pleaded for God’s forgiveness and faithfulness even after those failures.
Now he has to address the second part of that prayer; the people’s part. Praying God will work some wonder or keep someone close to Him requires an act on man’s part. God WON’T hold us hostage. He will lovingly reach out but we have to reach back.
Solomon challenges the people to ‘reach back’ by first reminding them of God’s faithfulness to them throughout the years. “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. Not ONE WORD has failed of ALL His good promise, which H spoke by Moses His servant” (verse 56, emphasis added by me). When God makes a promise, He KEEPS it! Look back at history and know.
And there are MORE good things and promises of God to come! How do we get those good things? By listening to and following the concluding part of Solomon’s blessing over the people. “Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in His statutes and keeping His commandments, as at this day” (verse 61).
Solomon gave them an example of how their hearts should be. They should be as they are “at this day.” The day they had all gathered to honor the Lord. The day their hearts were wholly on Him and His promises. The day in which they had put HIM first.
The ‘activities’ of that day couldn’t be replicated on a continual basis but the heart attitude could. The attitude of honoring God in their walk, their talk, their heart, and their minds. The SAME attitudes He calls us to have today and each and every day.
But how do I get there? I’m a MESS and I mess up all the time.
By HIS power. Solomon lays that right in the middle of his blessing. “The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, his statutes, and His rules, which He commanded our fathers” (verses 57-58; emphasis added by me). The KEY here is the ‘HE’.
I know you know Who that He is. Only through His power can we hope to stay in His will. Paul said it best; “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19). As with Paul, so it is with us and the ONLY way to address this problem is through His Spirit.
We receive His Spirit when we ask Him to be Lord of our life. THEN He can work in our life and bring us closer to Him every day. We are not bound to follow all the rules and statutes laid out in the Law given to Moses but we are to obey the general spirit of it. Jesus summed it up in two “commandments” that we follow. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40). These commandments stand forever. And we can only keep them when we have Him in our heart.
Father God, thank You for making a way for me to keep Your commandments. I KNOW I can’t do it on my own. I fall short far too often. But I can trust You to keep Your word and welcome me back when I repent. Not because You HAVE to but because You WANT to. Your love is AMAZING! And it is that love that brings me back every time. I LOVE YOU LORD.