II Chronicles 7:12-15
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
II Chronicles 7:14 has been a much quoted Scripture concerning righting the wrongs of our society. But I think it is especially relevant today in light of the Coronavirus pandemic now increasingly spreading in the United States as well as around the world!
But we take the Lord’s promise in verse 14 sometimes too generally. It is time to take it more specifically in light of the ongoing pandemic!
King Solomon had just completed seven years of building the temple at Jerusalem where God was to be worshiped (see I Kings 6:38). In II Chronicles 6:14 through 42 there is recorded a lengthy dedicatory prayer the king prayed before the gathered Israelites. In that prayer Solomon put forth seven possible scenarios when God interceding in human affairs will be sorely needed:
- II Chronicles 6:22, 23 – “If anyone sins against his neighbor, and is forced to take an oath…before You…then hear from heaven, and act, and judge your servants….”
- II Chronicles 6:24, 25 – “…if Your people are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You, and return…and pray…then…forgive…[their] sin…and bring them back to the land….”
- II Chronicles 6:26, 27 – “When…there is no rain because they have sinned…when they pray…and turn from their sin…then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of…Your people…and send rain….”
- II Chronicles 6:28-30 – “When there is famine…pestilence…blight…mildew, locusts or grasshoppers…[or] their enemies besiege them…whatever plague of sickness there is; whatever prayer…is made by…Your people…then hear from heaven…and forgive….”
- II Chronicles 6:32, 33 – “…concerning a foreigner…who comes…and…they pray…then hear from heaven…and do…all which the foreigner calls to You, that all people…may know…and fear You….”
- II Chronicles 6:34, 35 – “When Your people go…against their enemies…and they pray to You…then hear from heaven…and maintain their cause.”
- II Chronicles 6:36-39 – “When they sin against You…and You…deliver to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near, yet when they…repent…saying, ‘We…have sinned…and have acted wickedly”…then hear from heaven…and forgive Your people who have sinned against You….”
Let’s focus on the fourth scenario, and specifically on God’s answer in II Chronicles 7:12 through 15:
Then the LORD...said...“I have heard your prayer...I have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacri- fice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pesti- lence among My people, 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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears a tentive to prayer made in this place.”
Notice that the LORD specifically said, “When I…send pestilence among My people….” We are in the midst of a world-wide pestilence! What must we, God’s people – made Christians through faith in Jesus Christ – do in the face of this pestilence?
- First, we must realize what and who we are! In verse 12 of our featured Scripture, God said, “I have…chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.”
✡ In Solomon’s day it was the temple built in Jerusalem. There are a number of animal sacrifices spelled out in Leviticus, the first seven chapters. And they were all to be presented at the one bronze altar that stood in the courtyard before the temple – nowhere else was any sacrifice to be offered! (See Deuteronomy 12:13, 14). ✞ But in this Church Age (since Pentecost – see Acts 2), as Paul wrote in I Corinthians 6:19: ...do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Peter adds this in I Peter 2:5, “...you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
God has chosen us as Christians to be His temple, and our lives to be the altar on which we offer up spiritual sacrifices pleasing to Him!
- Second, when hard times hit, such as this Covid 19 pandemic, we must personally and collectively turn to Him! And it does not matter where we physically are!
✞ We can be gathered together at church or in a home in collective prayer. ✞ Or we can be kneeling beside our beds pouring our hearts out to God.
...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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
- Third, Let us not forget what the LORD says in verse 15 of our featured Scripture: “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”
✞ This place is us! ✞ The time is now!
Let us beseech God to heal our land!