“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.” - 2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV
From this passage, we find a command and instruction of Adonai that is both captivating and demanding of our hearts, thoughts and actions. As with all passages of Scripture, CONTEXT is essential in not only interpreting its message, but also finding our calling within it. As such, the words before 2 Chronicles7:14 provides the reader not only the “why,” but also the hope for those who seek above all things to obey Adonai. Thus, in verse 12-13 we read, “Adonai appeared to Shlomo Solomon) by night and said to him, I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself (the Temple] as a house of sacrifice. If I shut up the sky, so that there is no rain; or if I order locusts to devour the land; or if I send an epidemic of sickness among my people.” (CJB) Thus, from this chapter, we find “choice,” where on one hand, BLESSINGS come for those who walk in faithful obedience, yet for those who reject God’s path, they will find judgment in pestilence, poverty and hardship.
From this, Shlomo knew that God’s direction here was but an echo of Deuteronomy 28, where only a few verses later we read, “But if you turn away an abandon my regulations and mitzvot which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, worshipping them; then I will pull them up by the roots out of the land I have given them. This house, which I consecrated for my name, I will eject from my sight; and I will make it an example to avoid and an object of scorn among the peoples.” (2 Chron. 7:19-20, CJB). Therefore, from this bold passage, we find an elevated demarcation, where on one hand, if we follow righteousness and pure-worship we will be blessed, but if we reject the Word of Adonai, then we will only reap what we have sown!
Likewise, when looking at this passage of Second Chronicles, we come easily to the conclusion of the “IF’s” which embolden our text …
For if we as the people of God, who are called by his name (or, as the CJB renders, “who bear my name”), and if we would choose to humble ourselves and pray, and if we would not only seek his face, but also turn from our wicked ways - Then, and only then, would Adonai hear our prayers from heaven, He will forgive our sins and heal our land!
What is noteworthy of this passage, is that which many usually avoid - that the restoration we seek, the healing we pray for and the salvation we desire for our nation and for the world is interictally tied to how we heed God’s calling and IF we do what He commands. Equally, with this passage, there is the reality of what will happen IF we choose a more laissez faire or overtly rebellions approach, and do not heed the admonition of the Spirit’s call, where as a result, the Lord will not hear us from heaven as we pray, He will not forgive us of our sins and He will not heal our land!
In stating this, are we then suggesting that IF we use this “formula” that we ourselves are those who bring redemption to the world? NO! But, what it does mean is that when we choose to cooperate with the Holy Spirt, walk in humility and first repent of our sins and turn from our wicked ways (and with this, stand in the gap on behalf of the nation and own our collective sin, and ask God to forgive us), then we will see an outpouring of Yeshua’s grace in a greater measure than we have ever seen before and with it find Redemption for ourselves as we see the Goodness of God poured out as water on a dry and parched land!
Believed, Lets stand in this decisive hour of decision and stand in the gap for our nation and the world! Let us examine our hearts and turn from our wicked ways - and may we be the vessels God uses in this generation for healing and restoration!
~ Rabbi Mark Rantz
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