2 KINGS 22:18-20 – But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was penitent (tender), and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.’ ” And they brought back word to the king.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE HEART GOD VISITS. It is why we were created. It is what the Gospel does. It will be for all eternity. The common denominator in all three of those statements is fellowship with God. Or we may say, “Enjoy a living relationship with the living God.” And to make this so real, ponder how the Revelation ends – Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4). That fellow believer is our hope and what we are going to experience. Yet, we are called to enjoy a “slice of heaven” now in our relationship with the Lord. We are a people who know God, yes, in part, but we do. And we are to grow in this knowing of Him – “Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). God has provided all we need for this happen – His Son, His Spirit, His Word, and prayer. He also has identified the type of heart in a person whom God will visit with Himself. It is the Josiah-type heart we read of in today’s scripture.
This good King of Judah models for us two qualities in the heart where God makes Himself known. These are necessary for fellowship with God, and in His amazing mercy and grace, He will develop those in us so that we may enjoy such spiritual fellowship.
First, the heart God visits is penitent or tender. It is the person who is like soft clay in the Divine Potter (Jeremiah 18:6). What this describes is a person who is teachable; open to instruction, correction, and direction. And to do so with glad submission to the work of the Lord in making this person able to fellowship with Him. That is not an easy place to get for anybody, even a Christian. We don’t like correction. We don’t like the pain of God’s discipline. But like Josiah, we see what God is doing. He is purging us from the ugliness of ourselves that we might behold and enjoy the beauty of Himself. So, pray that God keeps you tender in His hand.
Next, the heart God visits is humble. What a great quality in King Josiah in light of the high position he held in government. If anyone was tempted to think more highly of himself than he should, it would be him – Josiah, not a common guy, but Josiah, the king and exalted guy. But not so. This king valued his relationship so much with the Real King that he was humble. He saw himself as he really was before the real king. And it is this heart God takes delight in – the humble heart that sees God for who He really is and sees himself as he really is.
So, what about our hearts? Right now, are they tender and humble? If so, we are enjoying the Lord. If not, ask the Lord to start the work making our hearts tender and humble. In His love, He will answer. After all, He created us to fellowship with Him and will do what is necessary to make that reality in our lives.
PRAYER: “Father, make my heart a place of Your dwelling and help me not resist the purging of me to make such a heart.”
QUOTE: “God will fellowship with His people provided they meet His requirements – humility and of a tender heart.”