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Misunderstanding 2 Chronicles 7:14


Warning!  You may disagree with what you are about to read, but if you believe that any given Bible passage is best understood in its context, you will consider what I write. 


2 Chronicles 7:14 reads: 


"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 will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and will heal their land." 


In context, to whom do the words "my people" in 2 Chronicles 7:14 refer?  There is no doubt.  "My people" refers to the Jews.  In context, what land is being referred to in 2 Chronicles 7:14?  Again, there is no doubt.  The land is the land God promised the Jews in the Abrahamic Covenant.  We should, then, understand this verse to say that if the Jews would humble themselves and pray, God would heal their land.  This is the simple meaning of 2 Chronicles 7:14.  Why, then, do Evangelical Christians apply this verse to themselves and their nation when that was not its original intent?     


Applying the words "my people" to Christians living in Canada, America, or elsewhere, stems from an anti-Semitic sentiment that permeated Catholicism during the dark age of church history, something the Protestant Reformation, for the most part, did not refute.  In theological terms, this anti-Jewish mindset is called "Replacement Theology."  Those embracing this view believe that the Jews, thus Israel, no longer have any significance in the mind of God.  All that God promised the Jews in Old Testament times has been transferred to Christians and to the church.  For this reason many Christians today believe the words "my people" and "land" in 2 Chronicles 7:14 refer to them and their nation.


When we apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 to ourselves and our nation, we ignore one basic rule of Biblical interpretation, that being context.  This has led to what I believe is a misunderstanding, and thus, a misappropriation, of 2 Chronicles 7:14.  This misappropriation appears every time there is a national election, as is seen in Canada now.  We quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 in our prayers, in the hope that our nation will repent and find national healing throughout our land.  Has God ever promised a specific portion of land to Christians as He promised Israel?  Read Hebrews 13:14.


"For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come."


God has not promised Christians a specific portion of land that we can claim as our own.  We are waiting for that heavenly land, that heavenly city, that is yet to come. 

Prior to Canada's last federal election many prayers were offered in faith believing God would install His leader into our federal government that would bring forth national healing.  According to Daniel 2:21, He can do such a thing.        


"He [God] changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning."


Did God answer the prayers of Canadian Christians in the last federal election?  Was it God's will that the Liberal party of Canada, who embrace abortion and the LGBT movement, form a ruling majority in parliament?  If God answered these prayers, I suggest that our complaints about our present national leadership are misguided, and in fact, are directed to God. 


Daniel 2:21 implies that God can install national leaders to accomplish His purpose for that nation, whether His purpose is to bless that nation or bring it down in judgment.  History has proven that He can do either.  


Since another Canadian election is almost upon us, and since the American election is next year, I suggest we pray with some Biblical intelligence.  I also suggest we pray for the western-world church, because how the church goes is how our nations go.  Of course our secular leaders need to repent, but how can they repent when the ones calling them to repent are in need of repentance themselves? 


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