Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Translation: The Message (MSG)
Bible Text: If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I’m alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place.
OBSERVATION: I believe that way too often we read into the Scriptures what we want to hear, or perhaps we might use the content of a verse to make sure that it is understood in the manner we feel it should read. Re-reading these frequently used verses might remind us of the emphasis God places on ‘HIS’ people. As we meditate on these verses today, please allow the Word of God to penetrate your heart and speak to your very soul.
APPLICATION: For so long I have heard reference to verse 14, but when you read the preceding verses, especially verse 13, it becomes very evident that God is saying that He may very well withhold blessings from us when we stray, or when we sin. However, He also tells us that when we pray, and when we repent of our sin, and when we turn away from our sin, then praise God, He will hear our prayer, forgive us of our sin and make us (our land) prosperous again. It seems so out of sorts the way that we try to make this work. God is the Master and He dictates how it will work. We are the servants, the followers, the beggars, we need to listen and obey, to see the results of God’s response to our prayers! I don’t believe that these verses were intended that the lost might awaken from their sin, surrender their lives to God and then see Him work miraculously in their lives, although I believe that God is very capable of doing that. I have the distinct impression that God told Solomon that the new temple was dedicated in service for the work of the Lord. However, he should let the people know that there may come a time when God may choose to strike their farms, or even send a plague among his people. This is not a time for the people to strike out against the evildoers or the Satan followers, but rather it is a time that believers should look to God and seek His forgiveness for their sin, their pettiness, their ugliness to their family, friends and coworkers. A time that they must look inward and face God in shame for their lack of obedience to His commands, their lack of caring about the elderly and those in need, their shame for keeping the King of all kings bottled up inside – their sin, yes be sorry for their own sin, and to seek the Master for forgiveness and for strength to serve Him, worship Him, and exemplify Him in ever fiber of their being. Friends, I believe that God is saying that we are to look inward as a church, and get our act together, so that we might represent Him honorably before a lost world. In other words, let’s get inside the four walls of our churches squeaky clean before we feel like we could be an influence to those on the outside. Many might respond that they are not dirty, they are not evil, they don’t hate others, but let me remind you that we are to compare ourselves to, and aim to live a perfect life like, the only begotten Son of God – Jesus our Lord. When you do that, can you see where God might want us to clean up our act? God told Solomon, that when we – the church, do what we are called to do, then He will hear from heaven and bless our land. This reminds me of an old Christian song, ‘It’s me, it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer. It’s not my brother or my sister, but it’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer’. Fellow believers, join me in drawing closer to God today. I believe that He wants to bless our land, but He said that He wants us to have our house in order before He does so. Let’s not be a stumbling block in the good work of the Lord.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray that my readers will join me today in being obedient to Your precious Word. May we humble ourselves, turn from our wicked ways, pray, and seek Your face, like we seriously want a move from You, and like we seriously want You to heal our land of its sin, its deceases, its wickedness, and its lack of desire for our King. Please heal us – Your church, and draw us unto Yourself, so that You may eventually heal our land. We are tired of the crime and many sins that are evident and that seem to worsen every day, and we are frightened by the unknown deceases for which our doctors fail to find a cure. Our land is in much need of a touch from You oh God. Please begin by healing Your children – even today, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!