About Jesus Steve Sweetman
following article may present a different way of thinking concerning 2
Chronicles 7:14. Consider
what I say and may Jesus give you the understanding in all things.
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 will forgive their sins and heal their land. (2 Chronicles
the messages I've heard associated with this verse suggest that if the
citizens of any nation humble themselves in prayer, God will heal their
nation. I'd like to suggest
another way to view this verse. Many
Christian gatherings have been held on the doorsteps of their respective
national capital buildings in the hope of
petitioning God for national healing.
Much of the thinking
for these gatherings is based on this verse.
Christians want God to heal their nation, but is this a proper
understanding of what God is saying? Who is He speaking to here, and
what is He saying?
you read the whole chapter you'll see that God spoke to King Solomon
soon after the dedication of the new temple.
These were the glory days of Jewish history.
God's presence was with
Chronicles 7:14 has to be understood in its context.
These words were just part of what God spoke to Israel
through Solomon. We often
view this verse as a promise, but it was more than that.
The whole passage is a prophetic warning to
words "if my people who are called by my name" refer to Israel, no one else.Israel
was to represent God in the midst of a pagan world.
If they refused to do this, as they did, God would shut up the
heavens, send the locust and plagues, which He did.
Israel's rejection of Jesus was the
ultimate in their turning away from their God.
It was the culmination of many acts of disobedience that led to
her destruction in 70 A. D. Their
rejection of Jesus initiated the negative aspect of the prophetic
warning of 2 Chronicles 7 and elsewhere, until the day comes when God
will send a spirit of repentance to Israel and then they will return to
their God once and for all (Zechariah 12:10). At
that time God will heal the land
one good point to Israel's turning away from God as seen in her
rejection of Jesus is that it gives you and I the opportunity to become
part of God's New Covenant people, whether we're Jew or Gentile.
Those who have given their lives to Jesus are now the people of
God in the midst of a pagan world. I
personally believe that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is directed to Israel, not towards Canadians,
Americans, or any other nationality. If
you insist this verse applies to other people too, then the only other
possible group it could apply to would be God's present day people.
That's Christians. That's
the church. In this sense of
the word, like Israel
of old, there's a need for some serious repenting and healing in God's
people today. We're not all
that different from
this in mind, the next time you pray for national healing based on 2
Chronicles 7:14, no matter what nation you live in, I'd suggest you pray
for the healing of the church in your nation instead of your nation.
I'm not convinced God is interested in Christianizing our pagan
nations, at least not at the moment.
That comes later. He's
more interested in individual men and women repenting and finding
personal healing. He's more
interested in His present day people, the church, repenting and finding
healing. Remember, the
promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is to "my people who are called by my
name," that's God's people, not secular nations.
think the health of any nation is determined by the health of God's
people within the nation. Western
nations in times past have been healthier because of Christian
influence. That's not the case any more.
Our nations have lost this Christian influence because Christians
have ignored Biblical thinking. If
God's people who are called by His name today repent, then we as God's
people will experience the healing we need that will inevitably affect
sum up, I believe 2 Chronicles 7:14 is specifically directed to the
Jews, no one else. If there
is any secondary interpretation, it could only be directed to the
church. If you believe that
God wants to Christianize a secular nation, then you might want to find
another passage to support your thinking. Many
groups over the centuries have attempted to Christianize their nation,
or turn their nation into the Kingdom
for clarity sake, I'm not totally opposed to praying for our nations.
Paul does tell us to pray for our leaders, so we can live a
peaceful and godly life. I
just don't think 2 Chronicles 7:14 is telling us to pray for the healing
of our western nations. I
see the focus of the New Testament is to pray for the salvation of
individual people. Jesus
will deal with nations at the end of this age.
Beyond praying for individual salvation, I think we should pray
for a spirit of repentance to sweep over the church.
If you're still convinced that God wants to heal our secular
nations right now, then you should study the Bible's understanding of
"humbling ones self before God in repentance."
It's a very serious matter and is seldom preached in our modern
church. Without this
repentance, there can be no healing.