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.