‘When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and give praise to your name . . . then hear from heaven…’ 1 Kings 8.33
When King Solomon had built the temple, he dedicated it to God. In essence his prayer was that the temple would be a meeting place between God and man. One of the most striking aspects of his prayer is its honesty. Solomon was fully aware that things were likely to go wrong, that people would not live up to their calling and that there would be difficulty and failure. Yet he was still able to have confidence that God would be there, full of mercy and grace. Solomon knew his people, but he also knew God.
This confidence is something that the writer of the letter to the Hebrews is keen for us to catch. In Hebrews 4.16, he encourages us to approach God’s throne with confidence so that we might receive mercy and grace. Both Solomon and the writer to the Hebrews caught something wonderful about God’s heart; they knew him to be merciful to the extent that not only could they approach him themselves, but that they could also confidently encourage others to receive his mercy.
You may feel in need of God’s help today. Take heart from the conviction of these two men and turn to your wonderful God in the knowledge that he wants you to approach him for help and not struggle alone. Remember the invitation to have confidence and approach the throne of God in order to find what you need, and his help will be both merciful and graceful.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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