Thursday, May 3, 2012

Today is the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Throughout the country there will be (or there are) many gatherings where groups will be prayer for their towns, communities, cities, as well as this country.  No doubt attendees will hear citation to 2 Chronicles 7:14.  That verse reads,

[I]f my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Of course in this verse, the Lord is addressing the children of Israel.  Many, however, are not aware of the context for this verse.  This verse was presented as the writer, inspired by the Holy Spirit (see 2 Tim. 3:16) was describing the events surrounding the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem.  This popular verse talks about God’s promises for blessings.  What is often missed are the warnings contained a few verses later:

But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples.

2 Chronicles 7:19-20. Thus, where there are blessings, there are also warnings.  Both for the children of Israel and for us today, we must avoid the idolatry present in our lives.  This was a huge problem for the children of Israel, resulting in their captivity.  If God is consistent, I wonder what will happen if we fail to deal with the idolatry in our lives today.  May we honor the words of 2 Chron. 7:14 by humbling ourselves, seeking the Lord’s face and turning from our wicked ways.  Perhaps it is not too late for the Lord to hear from heaven, forgive us of our sins, and agree to heal our land.

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