Solomon prays “before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel” (1 Kings 8:22) He asks, rhetorically, “Will God indeed live on earth? Even heaven, the highest heaven, cannot contain You, much less this temple I have built.”
Solomon asks God for mercy when the people of Israel “sin against You, and they return to You and praise Your Name, and they pray and plead with You.” (1 Kings 8:33) Solomon asks God to “hear in heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.” (1 Kings 8:34) He begs God to “teach them the good way they should walk in.” (1 Kings 8:36) “May You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and may You forgive, act, and repay the man, according to all his ways, since You know his heart, for You alone know every human heart.”
Solomon adds, “When they sin against You — for there is no one who does not sin — and You are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, and when they come to their senses and repent and petition You: ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked,’ and when they return to You with their whole mind and heart and when they pray to You, may You hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, their prayer and petition and uphold their cause. May You forgive Your people who sinned against You, and may You give them compassion. For they are Your people and Your inheritance. For You, Lord God, have set them apart as Your inheritance.” (1 Kings 8:46-53 selected)
God alone knows every human heart. And every human heart has sinned.
Thank You, heavenly Father, for Your willingness to show mercy. Thank You that the Lord Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to approach the throne of grace, despite our sinfulness and unworthiness. Thank You that You give us Your own holiness through the shedding of Your Son’s blood and the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Let us forever be grateful, showing our love for You in praise. In Jesus’ Name, amen.