I am still basking in the glow of our latest trip to Israel. It was an anointed trip in many ways I will never forget. And one word you can never forget when in Israel is the word Shalom. When you want to say hi, you say Shalom. When you want to say goodbye, you say Shalom. When you want to wish someone a wonderful Sabbath day, you say Shabbat Shalom. Of course, the basic use of the word in many cases is simply “peace.” But as we have seen, it has a variety of other uses. One of those uses occurs in a place we might not expect:
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.” – 2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV
What a wonderful promise. But what does it mean? The word translated “loyal” in the NKJ is translated “blameless” in the ESV, “completely His” in the NAS, “fully committed to Him” in the NIV, and “true to Him” in the NRSV. Quite a few options. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew word yielding all these options is Shalom. The Lord is looking for those whose heart is Shalom to Him. Say what?
In 1 Kings 6:7 the word Shalom is also used in reference to stones that have been completely cut, prepared, and smoothed for use in the quarry. While in Eilat, we were taken to the only factory in the world that makes what is fittingly called the “Eilat stone” or King Solomon’s stone. It is taken out of the original copper mines of King Solomon. In its rough cut, it is not attractive. But when polished, it is a stunningly beautiful combination of turquoise and blue. I got Betty some earrings made with the Eilat stone. That puts me in her good graces for six months.
So what is a heart that is Shalom to God? Be good to know, wouldn’t it, since the Lord’s eyes are scanning the earth looking for those who have hearts like this?
Just the thought of scanning implies that the majority of His followers don’t have hearts like this.
One Hebrew dictionary says the word means “complete” or “perfect” in this context. The NAS and the NIV pick up on this meaning – a heart that is completely His or perfectly belongs to Him. If that is its meaning, the question begs to be asked: “Is there anything I can do to be sure my heart is completely His?” Jesus answers that question for us: “Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.”
We at Grace want to thank all of you who have so graciously shared in our mission with your material things. We know we are not your only directive for giving. But whatever part we are, we are grateful. And our prayer for you is that, through your sacrificial giving, your heart might be even more beautiful to Him than the Eilat stone. We pray that He will prove Himself strong on your behalf during the rest of 2012.