II Chronicles 7:14, 15
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
“If…” is one of the biggest two-letter words in the English language! It can decide the outcome of a small incident, or world-changing situations! The latter is applied to this opening word in II Chronicles 7:14 and 15:
...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 attentive to the prayer made in this place.
II Chronicles 7:14 is the theme verse in a prayer time we started at our church – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – from 6:30 to 8 AM. I resurrected a three-by-ten foot banner I made 39 years ago for an evangelistic service we had in another church. Having studied revivals that have taken place through history, I have learned that all revivals have been preceded by intense prayer! So we are calling on God to heal our land! America needs to be healed from…
- …the Covid pandemic now resurging!
- …political, social, racial, and economic divides!
- …sexual and gender confusion!
- …the cultural push to cancel or rewrite our American history!
- …the ongoing wars and conflicts into which our enemies have drawn us!
- …the personal and family needs of so many in our country!
- …the spiritual decline especially prevalent among our younger generations!
All these issues (and more) are addressed when we experience a heaven-sent, Spirit- empowered revival!
Gerald, at age 90, is one of our regular participants in the revival prayer time. He has regularly brought up the importance of the first word in II Chronicles 7:14 – “If…”!
Accordiing to II Chronicles 7:14, there are three things that God will do – that only God can do! Often in language, there is a second word in relation to the word if. It is the word then. If this or that happens, then this or that will follow. So it is with God!
- “…then I will hear from heaven….” God only is in heaven, that is, He and only the ones whom He invites into His presence!
✞ The angels who did not follow Lucifer in his rebellion (see Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12 -17). ➔ Matthew 26:53 – Jesus said, “...do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide me with more than twelve legions of angels?” A Roman legion at full strength was six thousand soldiers! That means Jesus could have had “...more than...” 72,000 angels come to His assistance! “...more than...” could refer to millions of angels! Revelation 5:11 appears to refer to at least a hun- dred million angels! ➔ Revelation 12:3, 4 – “...a great fiery red dra- gon [Satan]...his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth....” Many Bible scholars believe that “...the stars of heaven...” refer to the angels that followed Satan’s rebellion and became demons! “...one third...” of the angels would be “...more than...” 36,000 demons, perhaps millions of them! Factoring in Revelation 5:11, there could be 33 million demons! ✞ Redeemed human beings! ➔ Revelation 7:9 describes “...a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues...” – saved human beings who put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer! Whether this is just those saved out of the Great Tribulation or across the ages of history, it isn’t exactly clear. But it seems to lean toward those so saved. If so, the number of believers in heaven since Adam and Eve must truly be beyond comprehension! But back to God who “...will hear from heaven...,” only He is omniscient (knowing all things), and only He can hear all the sincere and repentant prayers of His people!
- “…then…I will forgive their sin….” In Luke 5:20, 21, the scribes and Pharisees had it right when they questioned, “Who can forgive sins but God alone? ” when Jesus said to the paralytic “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
✞ Only God can forgive sins, because sin is ul- timately against Him! As David wrote in his confessive psalm 51 and verse 4: “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.” And yet he had... ➔ ...committed adultery with Bathsheba, even fathering a child with her (see II Samuel 11:1-5). ➔ ...tried to cover up this adulterous sin by having Bathsheba’s husband Uriah mur- dered (see II Samuel 11:14-17). ➔ ...remained unrepentant about a year con- cerning his sin. ✞ I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ➔ As David testified in Psalm 32:1-5: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Bles- sed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no quile....I acknow- ledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. ➔ See also Psalm 103:12; Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 43:25; Micah 7:18, 19: Acts 26: 16; Romans 4:7, 8; Romans 8:1; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13, 14; Hebrews 8:12; I John 1:7-9; I John 2:2.
- “…then…I will…heal their land.”
✞ I will not mention again all the malignant specifics of our society that needs healing. But if you look once more at the opening list of wrongs and malignancies facing our nation, God can heal all these and so much more! ✞ ...and He knows we in America need His healing!
But it is all dependent upon that little word – “If…”
- “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves….”
✞ We cannot stay in our safe homes and havens and say... ➔ “Well, I’m ok! My kids are doing pretty well! We have enough money to live on! And we are all in decent health!” ➔ “All is well in my world!” ➔ “It is too bad what is happening in Af- ghanistan, Haiti, North Korea, and some other parts of the world! But what con- cern is that of mine?” ✞ What about... ➔ John 3:16 – “For God so loved the [whole] world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ➔ Mark 16:15, 16 – “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” ➔ Ephesians 1:22, 23 – “...the church [belie- vers all over the world]...is His body.... Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually....if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or if one mem- ber is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” ✞ We must get off our ‘high horse’ of self-suffi- ciency apart from God and each other, and “... humble ourselves...” to be where God wants us!
- “If My people, who are called by My name…will pray….”
✞ Not just... ➔ ...the “Lord’s prayer” of Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. ➔ ...“Now I lay me down to sleep....” ➔ ...“God is great, God is good....” ✞ What God wants, and we need, is soul-searching confession of... ➔ ...our sins! ➔ ...the sins of each other! ➔ ...the sins of our church! ➔ ...the sins of our nation! (see Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9:4-19).
- “If My people, who are called by My name…will seek My face….”
✞ God told Moses in Exodus 33:20, “You cannot see My face, for no man can see My face and live.” God is too glorious for mortal man to see the LORD ‘face on’ and live! ✞ But, it is written in... ➔ II Corinthians 4:6 – “...God...has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” ➔ John 14:9, 11 – “Jesus said...‘...He who has seen Me has seen the Father....Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me....” ✞ To seek His face is to know Him intimately! ➔ To know how He thinks, how He acts, how He loves, how He blesses! ➔ To know His furious anger and judgement against sin and sinners! ➔ To know the extent of His sacrifice to reconcile sinners unto Himself! ✞ A great benefit of seeking God’s face in Jesus Christ is found in II Corinthians 3:18: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. We become more and more like Jesus when we be- hold Him in the mirror of the Word of God..... and obey what we behold! (see I Corinthians 13:12; James 1:22).
- “If My people, who are called by My name…will turn from their wicked ways….”
I once had a friend named Myron, who confessed to me his love of gambling and his desire to “…only once in awhile…” cheat on his wife by visiting prostitutes. He asked me, “How can I stop this stuff, because I guess I shouldn’t be doing it.” I told him, “Myron, you can’t face in two different directions at once. Turn to the Lord heart, soul, strength and mind, and you will be turning away from the sin you don’t want to do.”
I don’t know if he took my advice, but it is solid advice! No one can sincerely seek God’s face in Jesus Christ and continue in sin! It is impossible!
The second verse in our featured Scripture is only seventeen words long: “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer made in this place.” Where is “…this place…” located in which we are to pray?
- King Solomon prayed to the LORD at the dedication of the magnificent Jerusalem temple just completed under his leadership. II Chronicles 7:14 and 15 are part of God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer. Obviously, “…this place…” referred to that newly-built temple!
But there hasn’t been a Jewish temple since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the third temple King Herod built! So applied to us today, “...this place ...” can’t mean the Jewish temple!
- However, Paul wrote in…
✞ I Corinthians 3:16 – “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” ✞ II Corinthians 6:16 – “...you are the temple of the living God. As God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be there God, and they shall be My people.” So the temple is us! You might say, it is a portable temple, for it is found wherever we are. So pray, “...in this place...,” wherever you are! It is written in I Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.”
This is what the Lord calls us to do!
we do our part, what we can do…
God will do His part, what only He can do!