With all the hullabaloo about the corona virus, I imagine some of you thought my heading referred to that disease. It doesn’t. I’m talking about something I’ve pondered for almost a year and can’t seem to let the thought settle. I’m talking about 1 Kings 8:38 where Solomon is praying for the temple and prays, “when each one knows the plague of his own heart…”.
What’s that? I have a plague in my heart? Well, yes, there are times I do. There are times when I allow sin to come into my life. Of course, I don’t recognize it as the plague, but I have to come to terms that what is happening inside me isn’t some little scrape, or a sniffle, but the plague, or devastating sin.
You may be gasping and wondering how that could happen. How could I allow some horrible sin to take over my life? The truth is, maybe I didn’t realize what was happening.
How can that be?
Keep in mind the plague didn’t start out with the skin turning black and open bleeding. Early symptoms included fever and chills, feeling weak, something that could be associated with other less severe illnesses. Even the deadliest diseases are at work inside you before you’re even aware of the beginning symptoms. Sometimes, by the time you realize what disease has overtaken you, it is too late.
So, what is a plague of the heart? What can I do about this plague? How do I even recognize what is happening if I don’t feel the symptoms?
Solomon gives a couple of clues to us. First, the whole verse reads, “whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple…”
Aha! The people recognize something is wrong. And what do they do? They spread their hands toward the temple, or toward God.
How do I become aware something is wrong? To fight a disease before it takes hold, I need to understand my body. How I feel, the quirks and nuances peculiar to me as an individual. Then when I contract a disease, I feel right away that something is off and can take action.
I also need to be aware of my spiritual health. When I am in tune with God and self, I can feel even a minor discontent in my heart. I may not be aware of what is wrong, but I know something is off. That’s when I hold out my hands to God.
The second step is found in 1 Kings 8:39, “…then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men),…”
God alone knows my heart. I understand that truth because many times my heart is rebellious, and I can’t fathom why I do what I do. When that plague enters my heart, I feel the check in my spirit, and hold out my hands to God, pleading for Him to help me. Then He shows me what caused the sin, or plague, so I can take care of it and healing can begin.
I always hope for an awareness early on, but there are times my sin sickness may be more advanced. Then it isn’t a matter of a simple prayer to set things right, but taking time to change a thought pattern, or lifestyle, that is interfering with my spiritual health. This is something I must do, and am happy to submit to God’s leading for this change. I want to be rid of the sin, and not allow it to become a plague that could lead to death.
As with the plague, or the corona virus, there are precautions to take to protect from the disease. Cleanliness is a big one. Likewise, to prevent the plague in my heart, I must have maintain a clean spirit by allowing God access to my inner most thoughts, to the very heart that is in danger of the plague. He is able to keep me healthy as long as I allow Him access and listen to His direction.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23,24 (KJV)
Very true, Nancy. The darkest plagues are in our spirits, not our bodies.
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Such a great post! I pray we can keep clean hearts by staying anchored to Jesus! Thanks so much for sharing this!
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