1 Kings 8:47 (ESV)

47 yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’

Solomon moved in his petition from the problem of sin and its punishment to the idea of repentance and a plea for mercy. Solomon conceived of this plea as one that would be sincere and genuine—not just sorrow for the consequences of sin but sorrow for sin itself. Also, Solomon included in the repentance that he foresaw the concept of our knowledge of the nature of the sin that brought such judgment. The people are conceived of saying to their offended Lord that they have acted perversely and wickedly.

We ought to learn from Solomon’s words something of the terrible nature of sin we are far too often content to regard sin as insignificant. We are far more ready to conceive of the situation as being victims of an unjust providence than as guilty sinners that deserve God’s displeasure. On the one hand, Solomon presented repentance as something that included turning one’s heart to God. On the other hand, he presents the possibility of forgiveness.