I mentioned yesterday that many churches in times past have had revival services on a regular basis. One of the popular topics and Scripture passages cited is in today’s Bible reading* where God answers Solomon’s Dedication Prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14)
[if] my people, who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (CSB)
Oftentimes, when we think of this verse, we don’t consider the full context of what’s going on. Solomon has just prayed the Temple’s Dedication prayer. In it, he asks God to bring hardship on His people when they have sinned in order to bring them back to Himself. (2 Chronicles 6:24-31)
Praying for God’s chastisement is a very difficult prayer to pray. It’s uncomfortable. But it’s a prayer that needs to be prayed by the leaders of God’s people. And His judgment begins with the leadership. Leaders can’t lead God’s people to get right with God if we aren’t right with God. We can’t lead God’s people where we haven’t gone (or aren’t willing to go) ourselves.
God’s judgment of famine, pestilence, and drought is because of God’s people’s sin, not the sin of the lost people who live in the land. When you look around and see corruption in the world, don’t blame the crooked politicians. Don’t blame the media moguls. Don’t blame the public education system. Don’t blame Hollywood. Don’t blame Social Media or any other evil entity.
These may be contributing factors, but the reason for the “sick” land is the disobedience of God’s people. God doesn’t call lost people to return to Him in order for him to heal the land. He calls His people to humble themselves, pray, seek Him and turn from their own wicked ways. Then — and only then — does God promise to fulfill His covenant with His people.
Seven months ago, while we were in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic and we were nearing the 2020 Presidential Election, I asked God to have mercy on us and bring revival to the United States.
I heard very distinctly that my prayer was out of line. God already told us what we needed to do — what I needed to do — to see revival and healing in our Nation.
God promises to do His part.
But we must do our part.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
2 Chronicles 4
2 Chronicles 5
2 Chronicles 6
2 Chronicles 7