“…If My People…” – 2 Chronicles 7:12-15
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The Church is involved in a great battle:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
This battle is currently being fought in the United States.
It is creating great doubt and anxiety among many American Christians.
But there is no need, God has spoken to us in His Holy Word.
We need only to remember the examples and promises God has given His people.
God is an unchanging God, the same yesterday, as He is today, and will be tomorrow:
"The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever."
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (Jms. 1:17)
"I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
We need to understand that it is God who places kings on thrones and removes them. (Dan. 2:21)
It is God who causes nations to rise and fall according to His will also.
We would do well to remember this truth:
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17)
And apply the lessons found in Scripture of how God dealt in the past with His people, and that His promises are still valid for us today.
Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
(2 Chron. 7:12)
"...the LORD appeared to Solomon by night..."
* This was King Solomon's second dream from God. (1 Kings 3:5)
"...I have heard your prayer..."
* The prayer King Solomon offered at the dedication of God's temple. (2 Chron. 6:18-31)
When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
(2 Chron. 7:13)
* Notice, God did not say "if."
* God knows who we are, and what is in our hearts:
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Gen. 6:5-6)
And it's not as if we have not been warned:
But let us remember, the Lord's commandments are all meant for our good, to make us a people pleasing in His eyes.
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
(1 Jn. 5:3)
...if 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
(2 Chron. 7:14)
* The biggest two letter word in the Bible. "If" implies that we have free will to do contrary to God's will, to our own detriment!
"...my people who are called by My name..."
* Specifically, in this passage, the nation of Israel during King Solomon's reign.
* But today this applies to the Church, the elect of God, His called and chosen people.
* We are called CHRISTians today, first in Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
* And we have been bought and adopted into His family by faith in Calvary. (Rms. 8:15-17)
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.....There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26, 28)
"...will humble themselves..."
* "Humble" - To become a servant as was Christ. (Mk. 10:45)
- To love God and others before ourselves. (Matt. 22:37-39)
- Humility is the opposite of pride.
"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
* A. C. T. S.
"...the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." (Jms. 5:16)
"...seek my face..."
Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
"...turn from their wicked ways..."
* Simply - Repent, confess our sin and turn and follow Jesus.
"But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?"
"If you love Me, keep My commandments."
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(1 Jn. 1:8-9)
"...then I will hear from heaven..."
* "Then" is predicated on the previous "if."
When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.
"...and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
* Forgiveness must always come before healing.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
(2 Chron. 7:15)
Just as King Solomon prayed:
Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.
(2 Chron. 6:40)
And as God had promised through Moses:
It seems we are in a most desperate situation.
We have sinned against the Lord, we being the people called by His name, the Church.
We are certainly deserving of judgment and punishment. (Rms. 3:10, 23).
But our God is a merciful God:
And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth...
And our God does not lie. He has given us His promise, our salvation is guaranteed. (Jn. 3:16, Heb. 6:17-18)
If we desire mercy and not judgment on earth, we (the Church) must get busy humbling ourselves, seeking His face, praying and turning from our wicked ways.
Then He will hear us, forgive us and heal our land.
And all people will be blessed.
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