THE PLAGUE OF A MAN’S OWN HEART

1 Kings 8:38-39

 

I.Intro.

A.these words are part of a prayer which Solomon offered up to God, at the dedication of the temple

1.he requests of God, that the present prayers and all future supplications might be graciously answered; whether by a body of people, or individuals

2.in a more specific manner, he ask that when someone becomes sensible of the plague of their own hearts, and is distressed by it, and goes to Him for relief, that He would hear and forgive

B.it is evident that Solomon uttered the prayer when upon his knees – 1 Kings 8:54

1.the posture in which he prayed reveals his reverence, humility, seriousness, and fervency in prayer

2.the greatest of men must not think it below them to kneel before the Lord their Maker

II.what is meant by the plague of the hear

A.this plainly suggests, that the heart of man is not perfect and reliable

1.it is unhealthful; it has a very grievous disease; what is more grievous than the plague

2.the disease of man’s heart is sin; indwelling sin, which has its seat in the heart

B.this is a natural and hereditary disease to the sons of men

1.there are some bodily diseases, which pass from parents to children; and so it is with our sin nature

2.we are, by nature, children of wrath; and the reason is, we are by nature, sinners - Ephesians 2:3

3.we would not have been children of wrath by nature, if sin was not natural to us

4.it is as natural for us to sin, as it is to eat when we are hungry

5.we are conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; and are called transgressors from the womb - Ps 51:5

6.as our first parent Adam was, and as our immediate ones are, so in course must our offspring be

7.who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean -- not one

C.this disease is widespread and universal; all are tainted and affected by it

1.some diseases are widespread, they go through a village, a town, or a country

2.no matter how universal they may be, there are always some who escape

3.when it comes to the plague of our heart, there is not single person who is not infected

4.in the six thousand years since the creation and fall of man, there has not been one of Adam’s descendants who has escaped this disease; except the man Christ Jesus

5.all mankind have been infected with this pestilent disease - Romans 3:9

a)we are all under sin; all under the power of sin; all involved in the guilt of sin; and all liable for punishment for it

b)if there were any person free from this infectious disease, undoubtedly the omniscient eye of God would see it - Romans 3:10-12

c)it may be said, of men in general, as it was of the people of Israel, that the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint; it is a pandemic disease - Isaiah 1:5-6

D.it is a very nauseous and loathsome disease - Psalms 38:7

1.this disease makes a person loathsome to God; who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity

2.sin, that makes us loathsome in the sight of God, makes us loathsome in our own sight too, when we are led to take a proper view of it - Romans 7:24

a)how loathsome it must be for a living man to have a dead body fastened to him, and be compelled to carry it with him wherever be goes

b)so it is with the people of God, who have any knowledge of this pestilent disease, this body of death, which we continually carry about with us

E.this is a disease which is mortal in itself, a deadly disease, as plagues generally are

1.there are diseases which are not unto death; but the disease of sin is unto death

2.every sin is deserving of death; eternal death - Romans 6:23

3.this disease is incurable, except by the grace of God and the blood of Christ

a)it is incurable by any methods we attempt to use - Hosea 5:13

b)let a sinner, that is diseased with sin, use whatever means he can; but anything less than Christ and His blood, will be ineffectual

c)Christ is the only physician that can cure the plague of the heart; His blood is the sovereign balm

F.a closer look at plague of the heart, according to the scripture

1.the heart is not only wicked, but wickedness itself; not only wickedness, but extreme wickedness - Psalm 5:9

2.the carnal mind is said to be enmity against God, not just an enemy to God, but deep-seated ill-will and hostility toward God and all that is good - Romans 8:7

3.the heart of man is like Babylon; a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, and the hold of every foul spirit - Revelation 18:2

a)it is the seat and source of all sin; the evil heart devises evil imaginations

b)out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false-witness, and blasphemies - Matthew 15:19

c)out of the wickedness of the heart, the mouth speaks bad things

d)all the evil actions of life have their rise from the heart

e)the heart is so bad, that Jeremiah says, it is “desperately wicked” - Jeremiah 17:9

4.all that is in the heart of man is wicked; the thoughts and the imagination of the thoughts of the heart are wicked - Genesis 6:5

III.some people have this knowledge, and some do not [which shall know] - 1 Kings 8:38

A.only spiritual people, who are under the influence of the Spirit of God, know the plagues of their heart

B.not all men know the plague of their own heart

1.they may know something of the nature of sin, the difference between moral good and evil:  by the light of nature, the laws of men, and the general notions of men

2.they know nothing of indwelling sin, the fountain of iniquity, or where evil actions spring from

C.the healthy do not need a physician, but those that are sick

1.all need a physician, but not everyone knows that they stand in need of one

2.the reason so many do not know their need of a physician: they do not know the plague of their heart

3.only those who are aware of their sickness, feel their need of a physician

4.those who think themselves increased in goods, and in need of nothing, do not know the plague of their own heart

5.those who imagine they need no repentance, do not know the plague of their own heart

6.the Pharisee knows not the plague of his own heart: for he says, “I am not as other men are”

7.if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves - 1 John 1:8

D.good men know the plague of their own heart; because they are enlightened by the Spirit of God

1.those who are forgiven and made light in the Lord, not only see the glory of God; but also see the vileness of their own nature, and the corruption of their heart

2.no matter how outwardly religious they may appear in the sight of others, they are always aware of the imperfections in their services

3.they know there is not a just man upon the earth, who sins not; that there is a mixture of sin even in their most holy things

4.they cannot depend upon any thing they have done; but acknowledge, when they have done all they can, that they are but unprofitable servants

IV.what a persons should do, who is aware of the plague of their own hearts - 1 Kings 8:38

A.they should spread out their hands to the Lord, and make supplication to Him, with a sense of their own great depravity

B.they should pray that the Lord would keep them from the plague of their own hearts; that it would not break forth to the grieving of their souls, or the dishonoring of His divine name

C.when we consider what we are, and what is in us; it should be enough to humble the proudest heart

1.when we are aware of the plague our own heart, they should cause the words of Job to be adopted - Job 40:4, Job 42:6

2.this should lead us, who know the plague of our own hearts, to be thankful to God

3.blessed be the name of God, who has opened our eyes to see our disease; and has shown us who the Great Physician is