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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

   Morning Thoughts by Elder Philip Conley

II Chronicles 6:30, 36, "Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)" "If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;"

This morning, people are quick to find fault with others without realizing that they are guilty of the same. Others hear things that they believe apply to other people without understanding that they are in the same boat. One of my "more amusing" pastimes is listening to people talk about other people's children and grandchildren, even though observation shows that their own are guilty of the same. We, many times, are quick with our criticisms of others without first "cleaning up around our own doorstep." This is the point of the Saviour in Matthew 7 about judgment. It is not that judgment, in and of itself, is wrong, but the Saviour cautions and exhorts us to make sure that we are not guilty of the same edict we condemn others with. This is why judges must have clean criminal records as they would be unfit to judge criminals when they are guilty of the same crimes. This is why churches need to maintain the honour and glory of God's house, else
they would be unable to judge the members within the walls when necessary.

The verses above are found in Solomon's prayer to the Lord at the dedication of the temple. In the midst of the prayer, Solomon "pauses" to insert two statements that show forth two all-encompassing thoughts for the object under consideration. These pauses are shown in the form of parenthetical statements, and parenthetical statements lend added clarity to the statement that brings further light as to what is being discussed. For example, certain words and concepts can mean different things in different contexts, and we, many times, insert a parentheses to show forth exactly what we mean. These parentheses can also aid us in pointing out that there may or may not be exceptions to the thought. Both of Solomon's thoughts show forth the case that no exceptions exist to what he is discussing. Therefore, let us examine those this morning to see where we are and what outlook we should pursue. As a point of reference, we will speak of the second one
and back our way into the first one.

In verses 36-37, Solomon is beseeching the Lord to remember His people when they sin and repent to follow after Him once more. Should the people get any idea that they perchance are not included in what Solomon is saying, the parenthetical thought clearly states that there is no man which sinneth not. Not one is exempt from this thought, as we all fall prey to the cares of life, devices of Satan, and temptations of the flesh. I remember a circumstance in which a minister of the gospel fell victim to his own lusts and was turned out of the church for his behaviour and conduct. He is no longer recognized as a minister of the gospel, although I can attest from first-hand experience that he had a gift that is now profitless and destroyed. What I drew from that experience is that no one is exempt from falling to these sorts of destructions. One of the worst things we could say is, "Well that will never happen to me." We should say, "Lord willing, I
hope that I will never fall victim to such things, but still understand my own fallibility."

Solomon exempts no one in his statement. We understand the entire Adamic family is condemned in Adam. We understand that all of us are sinners by nature and reveal that nature with our practice after coming into this world. Yet, how many of us (myself included) get caught up in thinking we are above sin or some type of sin? Some have said, "Well, I have done things I shouldn't have, but I'll never steal or murder." We are susceptible to every sin in the world, and it behooves us to remember the words of Solomon that there is none that sinneth not. We cannot think that a certain sin will no longer plague us here, for its ugly head can rear up at any time.

Moving above into the other expression in verse 30, we read a humbling and yet comforting thought. The Lord is the only one that knows the hearts of the children of men. Certainly, we see indicators at times that summon our own ideas of the person's heart, but yet we still must bow in submission that He is the only One that truly knows and understands. Therefore, we should look at that statement in (I believe) three outlooks for us here. The first outlook is to not dwell upon who is and who is not a child of God. My own outlook on Lot and others in the Bible is not favourable at times when reading their circumstance, but I also understand that Lot was beloved of the Lord identically in relationship as all His other children. God knows, God sees, and God only understands the hearts.

The second outlook to take from this thought is that since God is the only one that knows and understands the hearts of the children of men, we should not think that we can hide and cover anything up. David surely thought that he had succeeded in hiding his sin with Bathsheba. The evidence that would incriminate him had been done away with, and the woman now lived with him as his wife. Yet, the Lord, understanding the matter perfectly, sent his prophet with the most disheartening words David could hear, "Thou art the man." David's shifting house of deception came crashing down with one fell blow from the mouth of the Lord's prophet. The Lord understood David's heart, saw his intentions, and was displeased with his conduct. None of us today are any different, as the Lord sees and understands us down to our very thoughts and intents of the heart. For, there is no creature that is not manifest unto Him, and all things are naked and opened unto His
eyes. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

Therefore, it is rather amusing to hear people say when you walk up, "Well we better straighten up, the preacher's here." The preacher's presence matters not, for the Lord is always here, and His eye sees perfectly every time. David understood while penning the 139th Psalm that darkness or light matters not to the Lord's eye. He can pierce through all veils just as easily as He can pierce through nothing. So, if we try to say that we have no sin, have risen above any type of sin, or are not guilty of the same things we condemn, He knows better. The preacher may not know better, but the One that sees the hearts does.

Finally, the third outlook to draw from this is one that, I trust, will be of more comfort than the others. While there is comfort in knowing that nothing will ever take the Lord by surprise that He has not already known would happen, there is a measure of anxiety when we understand we have done things that displease Him. Yet, one of the most humbling and comforting thoughts to me is that He continues to love me, even knowing things about me others do not. Should the Lord's people know everything about me that I know, they would not want me preaching to them. Should they know everything about me that the Lord knows, they probably would not want my company. Yet, the Lord knows all about us, even things others do not see, and His love is as constant to us as it has ever been.

Even though none of us are without sin, either by omission or commission, He keeps us safe in the arms of His love. While our transgressions are met with the rod of chastening, His tenderness and compassion to His sheep will never be forsaken. Should our behaviour take us to the worst pitfalls the world has ever seen, our security in His Son will never be absented from us. Truly, that thought is one that deserves our most fervent admiration and adulation to and for Him. When our accuser stands before Him to say, "You cannot love that one for all the ways he has come short of the glory of God." Our Intercessor is there to say, "Father, that sin has been put away." And, when looking at us through Him, the Father declares us not guilty, righteous, holy, and without blame. May our thoughts dwell upon Him and His goodness.

In Hope,

Bro Philip