In the end there can be no half measures in believing, and as a result, having a daily relationship with our Saviour. The completion of this relationship leads us to sense the wonder of the Creator of all things – and the unlimited nature of those things.

In 1 Kings today we read one of the longest chapters in the Bible: it describes the awesome glory of the temple in which almost everything was overlaid with gold. Solomon had just completed it and we read his words of benediction. First he offers an emotional prayer to God, “that all the peoples of the earth may know your name” (8:43). When he finishes his prayer “he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, ‘Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel …’” (verse 56) and we ponder how even greater, far greater, must be the blessing and the joy, and the greater “rest” when Jesus the greatest king of all opens “the house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17).

Solomon brings his benediction to a climax with a petition to the Lord “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other” and then utters the significant words, “Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the LORD our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day” (verse 61).

Human nature is such that the challenge to be “wholly true to the LORD” is only accomplished when we have a real living relationship with Him and His Son, and how thought provoking is Mark in showing us how the disciples failed to be fully committed, despite constantly witnessing remarkable miracles and hearing his teaching.

Jesus said to them, “Having eyes, do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? …Do you not yet understand?” (8:18,21). And for us, we have eyes but do not read, and having brains, do we not yet understand? Let us apply our God-given intellect diligently to what we read and then make sure we meditate upon it. A true blessing for us – every day – only by this means will we be “wholly true to the Lord”.