1 Kings 8:58 MEANING

1 Kings 8:58
(58) That he may incline . . .--Comparing this verse with the exhortation of 1 Kings 8:61, we find exemplified the faith which pervades all Holy Scripture and underlies the whole idea of covenant with God. It is a faith in the true, though mysterious, co-operation of the "preventing grace" of God, which must be recognised in all adequate conceptions of Him, as the Source of all life and action, physical and spiritual, and of that free responsibility of man which is the ultimate truth of the inner human consciousness. God "inclines the heart" and yet the heart must yield itself. The conviction of this truth naturally grows deeper and plainer, in proportion as man realises better the inner life of the soul as contrasted with the outer life of event and action, and realises accordingly the dominion of God over the soul by His grace, over and above His rule over the visible world by His providence. Hence it comes out especially in the Psalms, the Proverbs, and the Prophetic books. It is instructive, for example, to observe how through the great "psalm of the Law" (Psalms 119) the conviction again and again expresses itself that only by His gift can the heart be enabled to obey it. (See 1 Kings 8:26-27; 1 Kings 8:32-33; 1 Kings 8:36, &c.) In the New Testament, the "covenant of the Spirit," the truth is brought out in all its fulness; perhaps most vividly in the celebrated paradox of Philippians 2:12-13, "Work out your own salvation . . . For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

Verse 58. - That he may incline our hearts unto him [Psalm 119:26; Psalm 141:4], to walk in an his ways [ver. 25; 1 Kings 2:4. The condition on which God's blessing was insured was at this time printed on Solomon's mind], and to keep his commandments, and his satutes, and his Judgments [see note on 1 Kings 2:3, to which ver. there is not improbably a reference], which he commanded our fathers.

8:54-61 Never was a congregation dismissed with what was more likely to affect them, and to abide with them. What Solomon asks for in this prayer, is still granted in the intercession of Christ, of which his supplication was a type. We shall receive grace sufficient, suitable, and seasonable, in every time of need. No human heart is of itself willing to obey the gospel call to repentance, faith, and newness of life, walking in all the commandments of the Lord, yet Solomon exhorts the people to be perfect. This is the scriptural method, it is our duty to obey the command of the law and the call of the gospel, seeing we have broken the law. When our hearts are inclined thereto, feeling our sinfulness and weakness, we pray for Divine assistance; thus are we made able to serve God through Jesus Christ.That he may incline our hearts unto him,.... By his Spirit, to love, fear, and serve him; to attend to his worship, word, and ordinances:

to walk in all his ways; he has prescribed and directed to:

and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers; all his laws, moral, ceremonial, and judicial.

Courtesy of Open Bible