Posted by: Beth | January 16, 2021

2 Chronicles 7:14

During times of unrest or uncertainty, the Christian church often turns to 2 Chronicles 7:14.  The intent of calling ourselves to repentance and into line with God’s purposes is a good idea.  Many Christians have a solid understanding of the verse.

if – The promise that follows is contingent upon a condition being met.

my people who are called by my name – Not the whole world, just those who claim to belong to follow God’s teachings.

will humble themselves – While few of us will admit to being prideful, we are quick to pray for God to correct this sin in others.

and pray and seek my face – This is the easy part – telling God what we want Him to do.

and turn from their wicked ways – Again, we are quick to pray for all those others who claim to follow Christ but don’t agree with us.  We need to sincerely seek God and listen to Him when he tells us what changes we need to make.

then – We like this part. Here comes the promise!

I will hear from heaven – what a joyous thought, God hears us.

and I will forgive their sin – We all need this.

and heal their land – Many want this.  We want God to fix our nation, and all the people in it, so that we all get along.

We lose a lot of meaning when we take a verse and focus on just the verse.  I am all for memorizing verses of scripture and no, I don’t think I could memorize the whole chapter.  However, while we are memorizing, we need to become familiar with the context.  King David is dead.  Solomon has overseen the building of the temple.   During the dedication of the temple, Solomon spoke to the people and then prayed to God.  Fire came down from heaven and consumed sacrifices.  God’s glory filled the temple so that the priests could not enter it.   The leaders and people worshipped and offered more sacrifices. They feasted for a week and held a solemn ceremony on the eighth day. Solomon sent the people home.  And then the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night and says that he is has heard Solomon’s prayer and chosen the temple as the place for his sacrifices.  Then he says that when disasters strike, if his people will call out to him and repent, he will rescue them.  I would be thinking, “Seriously?!?!!! After the way you just this week showed your glory and we worshiped you, you’re going to bring calamity on us??!!”  Lest you think I exaggerate, let’s look at verse 13.  By the way, there’s a comma at the end of verse 13; when we start at the beginning of verse 14, we are starting in the middle of a thought.

When –English translations are about 50/50 on whether this word should be “when” or “if.”  Throughout scripture, the Hebrew word is an interjection that is most often translated, “behold” and is also translated as “so,” “through,” “when,” and “if.”  Most of these words give the sense that God will cause the following things to happen.

I shut up heaven and there is no rain – Most of us have lived through times of drought. In this message to Solomon, God is saying He himself may shut the heavens.   Even with our current water supply systems, if it doesn’t rain for months, we are in trouble.

or command the locusts to devour the land – They don’t eat the literal land – the dirt – but the vegetation on it. They leave behind no tender growth. No crops. No food.

or send pestilence among My people, – Plague, disease, and epidemic are more common words today. 

To wrap it up in laymen’s words …. The nation of Israel held a great feast celebrating the dedication of the Temple. The worship was wonderful. After everyone had gone home, the Lord came to Solomon during the night.  He told Solomon he was pleased and that if troubles came, serious nation-wide troubles, the people could turn back to God and his teachings and God would heal the land.  When life is going great it is easy to get our eyes off Jesus and onto the things of the world.  We get into a place where we seem able to care for ourselves without any divine strength or guidance. We have a good job, a safe home, a government that protects individual rights, a family we can visit, generally life is grand. And then troubles come.  Then we realize that maybe, just maybe, we do need some supernatural guidance and wisdom and strength to navigate this life.

May 2 Chronicles 7:14, in context, still bring you comfort.  Even when the food supply is disrupted and disease runs rampant, even when troubles surround us, we can sincerely turn to God and he will hear us and heal us.   What a blessed promise.

#bgwwwtvb


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