Posted by: missionventureministries | October 5, 2018

HUMBLING OURSELVES BEFORE GOD – 2 Chronicles 7:14

“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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

This promise was originally given to the nation of Israel. However, the saying that immediately follows the reference to “my people” is one that opens up this promise to more than the Jewish people and says, “who are called by my name.” This wording is used to describe everyone who has become part of the family of God.

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16 that, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”

We also have assurance in Romans 15:4 that “everything that was written in the past (the Old Testament) was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of Scriptures, we might have hope.”

It is therefore important that we apply the principles of 2 Chronicles 7:14 to our own time, nation, church, and family, as did the ancient Israelites. We need to understand that the principles by which God rules remain the same; and do not change.

Yes, these are God’s words spoken to Solomon, King of Israel. Likewise, the “land” referred to was the land of Israel. When the Israelites sinned against the Lord, He would send the plagues mentioned in verse 13. But if they responded by humbling themselves, praying, seeking God’s face and turning from their wicked ways, God would hear them from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. 

Can Christians find any appropriate application from this text? Absolutely! Paul cited Old Testament examples of rebellion in Israel’s history that prompted God’s punishment; he noted that they also served as warnings for Christians living under the new covenant. Paul said: “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). 

The apostle Peter, speaking to a group of first-century Christians, said this: “For you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10). Today, followers of Jesus Christ are God’s people. Christians are those who are “called by My name.” Therefore, it is appropriate that we apply the timeless truths of 2 Chronicles 7:14 for today also, because it is crucial for all Christians, to humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord’s face and turn from our wicked ways, asking Him to graciously hear from heaven, forgive our sin and bring spiritual healing to the ailing, ineffective churches in our land. 

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we note three precepts that are consistently called for by God throughout Scripture: Humility, hunger and holiness. 

The first requirement for such spiritual healing is “humility”. “If my people who are called by My name humble themselves,” because, it is vital for a Christian to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). Every redeemed human being should give all glory to Jesus for salvation. 

The second requirement for spiritual healing is hunger, “… pray and seek My face.” Jesus urged His followers to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6). All Christians would do well to increase their hunger for godliness.  

The final requirement for spiritual healing is holiness. “… turn from their wicked ways.” Holiness comes by means of repenting from sin. Repentance means to confess our sins and turn away from them; which in turn, leads to true holiness. 

These three emphases from 2 Chronicles 7:14, humility, hunger and holiness, are much needed among Christians today. We need harmony and spiritual health to come into our life. Just because 2 Chronicles 7:14 was written to Israel thousands of years ago does not mean that Christians cannot benefit from its warnings by obeying its precepts.  

Remember that God talks to His people. That is the believer “My people . . .”, and not with the people running around who think they are Christians, but really are not. In fact the Bible says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).  

Then there are many who are living a double life. They put on a good performance at church. They say all the right things. But they are living a life that is completely contradictory to what the Bible says about how a Christian ought to live. Jesus asked: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46) 

A spiritual awakening starts with God’s people. It starts with those that are truly born again and hunger and thirst for righteousness. 

We pursue righteousness when we pursue the character of Christ and desire holiness more than fleshly pleasure. We avoid the temptation to become self-righteous when we understand that true righteousness begins with godly humility: “The humble He guides in justice and the humble He teaches His way” (Psalm 25:9). We remember that Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). When we spend time in the presence of God, we become more aware of our own sin and rebellion; understanding that pride and self-righteousness are impossible in the presence of a Holy God. Pursuing righteousness begins when a humble heart seeks the continual presence of God (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).  

As we see, the humble, believing heart leads to a lifestyle of righteous action acceptable to God. Therefore we should ask Him to: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

 

*******

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: