“If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath and comes and swears his oath before your altar in this house, then hear in heaven and act and judge your servants, condemning the guilty by bringing his conduct on his own head, and vindicating the righteous by rewarding him according to his righteousness.
“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.
“If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the LORD toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name,
—1 Kings 8:31-32, 41-44
by: Trisha Gerstel.
In today’s passage, King Solomon prayed about something I recently learned in my own pursuit of forgiveness: Forgiveness means that I lay down my “right” to retribution and instead hand it over to a wise and just God who is far better equipped to deal righteously with the situation. When we have been hurt by the words or actions of another, the world would have us believe the only thing that will make us feel better is to get them back. However, forgoing our pursuit of vengeance allows us to experience peace over the situation as it creates a way for the love of God to reign even in the darkest moments.