The world has periods of crazy: World War I and II, the Cold War, the War on Terror, etc. However, it seems earth keeps moving toward a precipice, becoming more insane as the years roll by. More pointless violence and personal attacks centered on elitism and self-righteousness occur.
But, there is hope. People, there is always hope. God promises to hear us. The Books of first and second Chronicles were written by the prophet Ezra. We enter Chapter 7 as Solomon finishes his prayer praising God for His attributes and admonishing Israel for their sins. Fire then descends from heaven and the glory of the Lord fills the temple. Israel bows down in worship and begins to offer sacrifices. Solomon consecrates the temple.
The Lord then appears to Solomon announcing that He has heard Solomon’s prayer. He says that when He withholds rain or sends locusts or plagues, there is a way for Israel to restore its standing.
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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
What I love about the Old Testament is that the Gospel appears and reappears all the time. No matter how far Israel strays, God is willing to take them back when they turn away from their sin. So it is the same with all people.
When we sin and turn from God in disobedience, we separate ourselves from Him. In order to reestablish that relationship, we need to turn from our sin and repent. This passage stresses the need for God’s people to be faithful and the importance of repentance to our relationship with God.
The “people” in 2 Chronicles 7:14 refers to the nation of Israel. But, that nation is made up of individuals. Each person carries part of the responsibility of praying and seeking His face and turning from their wicked ways. It’s not “them” over there but “us” over here.
This verse isn’t about America, but the underlying principle is applicable. It is easy to point fingers at our administration and blame national problems on those with authority. And I’m not trying to absolve them of responsibility. Believe me, accountability is my thing. But how can we expect our country to have things on track when we don’t have things on track in our own lives? How many times have I blamed our nation without addressing the sin I struggle with?
I believe that there is always hope for redemption. Always. The Bible is chock full of story after story of redemption. But it starts with one. It starts with us, you and I. If we don’t pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, who will?
I pray for the leaders of our great nation. Please guide them and lead them in a path that honors You. I pray for help looking at my own sin and turning to You for guidance and forgiveness. I cannot do this alone.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.