41 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for Your name’s sake 42 (for they will hear of Your great name and Your strong hand and Your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this temple, 43 hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this temple which I have built is called by Your name.
I get these emails every so often. Perhaps you get them too:
"You have inherited an estate from Mr. Fancy Name in An Exotic Country. Please send us your banking information so that we may give you a small fortune."
What it doesn't say is - this is a scam. I don't need it to say that. I don't know Mr. Fancy Name. I've never been to An Exotic Country. I know that small fortunes don't come via spam emails.
Sometimes when we read scripture we often think we are reading what it doesn't say. We may think that each time we read the scripture it is telling us that we should all get along nicely and that being nice to one another is important. But it doesn't say that. It never says that. It does say to love one another but scripture is also filled with wars and conflicts that are justified in the name of God. You might not like that there is war in the Bible, but it is there nonetheless.
The scripture above is important not just because of what it says but because of what it doesn't say.
It doesn't say
- Only people who look like us should be blessed.
- People who have not known about God cannot experience God's love.
- Each person needs to make sure they follow all works of piety and mercy before God can bless them.
What it says is that Solomon asks for God to answer the prayers of foreigners that call on His name.
It is a call for God's grace. God's grace is available to ALL.
And ALL means ALL.
Until Everyone Hears,