Week Two – Day 5. Friday, September 9, 2016.
Read 2 CHRONICLES 7:12-16 (ESV) SOAP v. 14
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name 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. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.
O – This passage comes from the time that Solomon and the Israelites dedicated the temple that was just built. There was a huge celebration – a festival that lasted seven days, followed by an assembly of the people, followed by more celebration. After all the people went home, the Lord appeared to Solomon at night. This is where this reading begins in II Chronicles 7.
“If my people, which are called by My name” – God was talking to Solomon about the Israelites, but it also states earlier in II Chronicles that those who are not Israelites are ALSO heard by Him. Why – so that ALL the peoples of the earth will know HIS NAME! “Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for the sake of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when he comes and prays toward this house, hear from heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” (II Chronicles 6:32,33)
God’s words to Solomon had a cause and effect warning. IF His people would humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways – THEN God would hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. What did this mean?
IF they would ……
- Humble themselves
- Seek His face
- Turn from their wicked ways
THEN God would…..
- Hear from heaven
- Forgive their sin
- Heal their land
David Guzik – BlueletterBible – God simply promises to hear the prayer of his humble, prayerful, seeking, repentant people. He will bring forgiveness to His people and healing to their land.
- “These expressions are best understood as four facets of one attitude, that sinners should seek God himself in humble repentance, rather than four separate steps on a long road to forgiveness.” (Selman)
A – What does this mean for me, today? What is my attitude? Do I humbly pray, seek Him, and turn from my sinful ways? Is that really my attitude? Does my attitude reflect humility, or pride that I’m a “good Christian?” Am I seeking Him throughout my day – or merrily going on my way? Do I turn from ways that are sinful, prideful, or downright wrong? I think, sometimes, that I become desensitized to my sin – attitudes or not following through with what I know that I should be doing. But – God doesn’t categorize my sin. Sin is sin. Attitudes reflect a sinful heart.
What is my role in this nation? As I read the blog posting today, I felt a heaviness for our nation – the elections, racial injustice, abortion, trafficking, and other inequalities that we see in the news. There is such unrest. There is wrong-doing. Do I merely sit back and shake my head, or do I work to change my corner of the world? What will it take for our nation to humbly pray, seek God, and turn from wicked ways? Certainly not by Christians standing by and shaking our heads (or hands). It is by taking a stand for what is right. It is by calling for justice, by voting, by working together to reflect God’s love (and standards) in our communities.
This passage from the blog was convicting to me today…..
As your daughters, we have allowed ourselves to become busy and instead of worshipping You, we worship our works for You…please forgive us for placing our sacrifices and works above our relationship with You.
As your daughters, we have replaced You with many gods in our lives…god of money, god of fame, god of pleasure, god of safety, god of possessions, god of food, god of other’s approval and the list goes on…forgive us.
Ohhhh sisters, we are the modern day Israelites. God has done so many amazing things in our lives, in our families, in our country….and we have forgotten. We have turned to fake gods to find our answers, our worth, our hope, our future.
P – Oh, Lord, forgive me for the times that I have lived my life for ME, and not for You. Forgive me for not taking our relationship seriously enough – so that it affected every portion of my life. Yes, Lord, I have replaced You with other gods – and struggle to keep YOU foremost in my life. Father, rule in my life today. Place Yourself on the throne of my life. Be King. Be Ruler. Be Lord of ALL. I give You my heart, my life, my future. Rule in me, so that my life reflects Your reign. I humbly seek You, pray for forgiveness, and, with Your help, turn from those ways which are sinful.
Father, I pray for our country and our world. Father, there is so much wrong, so much sin, so much violence, so much duplicity. Father, give those who are believers a strength, a conviction, a stand for You. May we be salt and light – and speak Your love to those around us. May we not be complacent, but active in our love and service to You. May we not be self-righteous, but righteous in You. May we not judge, but love with Your love. Father, heal our land. Bring Your love, Your justice, Your peace to us.
If My People – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MXbn1yhXwc
if my people who are called by my name 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.