VERSE OF THE DAY
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
If all mankind who are brought forth by me will humble themselves and be fervent in prayer in search of myself and my ways turning from sinful life styles and live a godly way I will hear them from heaven and will forgive them and heal their land
What does it mean for God to heal our land?
Our land is hurting and in deep need of God’s divine healing. Appropriately, this admonition from God addresses the critical fact that the sin and wickedness in our life as a nation has direct — and disastrous — effects on our health as a nation and as a global community.Dec 16, 2017
Can you humble yourself and pray?
I believe it’s what God told Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”Feb 19, 2021
What does the Bible say about repentance?
Mark 1:15 records the inspired summary of Jesus’ message as He began His ministry: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Repentance and faith go together because if you believe that Jesus is the Lord Who saves (faith), you have a changed mind about your sin and …Sep 24, 2015
What is humility before God?
Now what does it mean to humble yourself before God? To me, it means coming before Jesus in awe and reverence, despite of what people may think of you. It’s being willing to say, “I was wrong”. It’s the positioning of your heart to be open to His Word.
How do you live humbly?
To try to cultivate humility, you may want to try one or more of these activities:
1. Spend time listening to others. …
2. Practice mindfulness, and focus on the present. …
3. Be grateful for what you have. …
4. Ask for help when you need it. …
5. Seek feedback from others on a regular basis. …
6. Review your actions against the language of pride.
What is the meaning of 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV).
The key to understanding any verse of Scripture is context. There is the immediate context—the verses before and after it, as well as the larger context of Scripture—how the verse fits into the overall story. There is also the historical and cultural context—how the verse was understood by its original audience in light of their history and culture. Because context is so important, a verse whose meaning and application seem straightforward when quoted in isolation may mean something significantly different when it is taken in context.
When approaching 2 Chronicles 7:14, one must first consider the immediate context. After Solomon dedicated the temple, the Lord appeared to him and gave him some warnings and reassurances. “The Lord appeared to him at night and said: ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.’ When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:12–14).
The immediate context of 2 Chronicles 7:14 shows that the verse is tied up with Israel and the temple and the fact that from time to time God might send judgment upon the land in the form of drought, locusts, or pestilence.
A few verses later God says this: “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them’” (2 Chronicles 7:19–22).
No doubt Solomon would have recognized this warning as a reiteration of Deuteronomy 28. God had entered into a covenant with Israel and promised to take care of them and cause them to prosper as long as they obeyed Him. He also promised to bring curses upon them if they failed to obey. Because of the covenant relationship, there was a direct correspondence between their obedience and their prosperity, and their disobedience and their hardship. Deuteronomy 28 spells out the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience. Again, divine blessing and divine punishment on Israel were conditional on their obedience or disobedience.
We see this blessing and cursing under the Law play out in the book of Judges. Judges chapter 2 is often referred to as “The Cycle of the Judges.” Israel would fall into sin. God would send another nation to judge them. Israel would repent and call upon the Lord. The Lord would raise up a judge to deliver them. They would serve the Lord for a while and then fall back into sin again. And the cycle would continue.
In 2 Chronicles 7, the Lord simply reminds Solomon of the previous agreement. If Israel obeys, they will be blessed. If they disobey, they will be judged. The judgment is meant to bring Israel to repentance, and God assures Solomon that, if they will be humble, pray, and repent, then God will deliver them from the judgment.
In context, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a promise to ancient Israel (and perhaps even modern-day Israel) that, if they will repent and return to the Lord, He will rescue them. However, many Christians in the United States have taken this verse as a rallying cry for America. (Perhaps Christians in other countries have done so as well.) In this interpretation, Christians are the people who are called by God’s name. If Christians will humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and repent, then God will heal their land—often a moral and political healing is in view as well as economic healing. The question is whether or not this is a proper interpretation/application.
The first problem that the modern-day, “Westernized” interpretation encounters is that the United States does not have the same covenant relationship with God that ancient Israel enjoyed. The covenant with Israel was unique and exclusive. The terms that applied to Israel simply did not apply to any other nation, and it is improper for these terms to be co-opted and applied to a different nation.
Some might object that Christians are still called by God’s name and in some ways have inherited the covenant with Israel—and this may be true to some extent. Certainly, if a nation is in trouble, a prayerful and repentant response by Christians in that nation is always appropriate. However, there is another issue that is often overlooked.
When ancient Israel repented and sought the Lord, they were doing so en masse. The nation as a whole repented. Obviously, not every single Israelite repented and prayed, but still it was national repentance. There was never any indication that a small minority of the nation (a righteous remnant) could repent and pray and that the fate of the entire nation would change. God promised deliverance when the entire nation repented.
When 2 Chronicles 7:14 is applied to Christians in the U.S. or any other modern nation, it is usually with the understanding that the Christians in that nation—the true believers in Jesus Christ who have been born again by the Spirit of God—will comprise the righteous remnant. God never promised that if a righteous remnant repents and prays for their nation, that the nation will be saved. Perhaps if national repentance occurred, then God would spare a modern nation as He spared Nineveh at the preaching of Jonah (see Jonah 3)—but that is a different issue.
Having said that, it is never wrong to confess our sins and pray—in fact, it is our duty as believers to continuously confess and forsake our sins so that they will not hinder us (Hebrews 12:1) and to pray for our nation and those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1–2). It may be that God in His grace will bless our nation as a result—but there is no guarantee of national deliverance. Even if God did use our efforts to bring about national repentance and revival, there is no guarantee that the nation would be politically or economically saved. As believers, we are guaranteed personal salvation in Christ (Romans 8:1), and we are also guaranteed that God will use us to accomplish His purposes, whatever they may be. It is our duty as believers to live holy lives, seek God, pray, and share the gospel knowing that all who believe will be saved, but the Bible does not guarantee the political, cultural, or economic salvation of our nation.
FOR FURTHER STUDY
Repentance According to the Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 7:14
We cannot scan any random passage of Scripture and automatically assume the words are unconditionally addressed to us. Often, very often, they are not.
he Season of Lent is a time of reflection and repentance. But what is repentance? Each week this Lent, we will take a closer look at the doctrine of repentance as it is presented throughout Scripture in order to gain a better understanding of what it means to admit our sins as well as receive forgiveness as the foot of the cross.
When Donald Trump was elected in 2016, which Bible verse, do you think, was searched for more than any other? It was the same verse often quoted by famous Christian leaders at the time.
Last year, this passage still ranked near the top. It was the third most searched for Bible verse of 2020.
The verse is 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
As we dig into this passage, I’d like for us to do three things:
• Ask why this verse resonates with so many people.
• Look at the context and original Hebrew to help us better understand what God is telling us.
• Understand how this passage has nothing to do with the United States of America but everything to do with the people who happen to live in the USA (and, for that matter, everywhere else on the globe).
Why This Passage?
When people turn to the Scriptures during seasons of uncertainty, fear, doubt, or turmoil, we cannot but rejoice. Thank God they do! Better they open the Bible than Facebook or Twitter. In the cultural cacophony of lying voices, the Spirit uses the Scriptures to teach, reprove, correct, and train us as followers of Christ, so we are equipped to do good (2 Tim. 3:17).
But we still must ask: Why this verse?
I think most readers see in 2 Chronicles 7:14 a clear expression of our (seeming) problem and its (seeming) solution. The problem would be that we are proud; going down wicked paths; and that our country is sick and diseased, in dire need of divine healing. The solution, then, would be humility, prayer, seeking God, and repenting.
The words of the Chronicler, then, appear to be the promise of a warm and welcome dawn after a long, cold, hard night, pregnant with chaos and uncertainty.
Well, perhaps. First, we must ask of this verse a fundamental question—a question that all too often goes unasked by readers of the Bible. The question is this: Does this passage apply to us? Our church? Our country? Just like I cannot read my coworker’s email regarding his upcoming raise, and think that promise applies to me, just because my eyes saw the words, so also we cannot scan any random passage of Scripture and automatically assume the words are unconditionally addressed to us. Often, very often, they are not.
The Context and Hebrew of 2 Chronicles 7:14
You will notice that the verse, as I quoted it, begins, with “…if” not “If.” In other words, verse 14 is a continuation of verse 13. Here is the full sentence, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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.”
God is speaking to Solomon at night, following the long dedication of the temple (2 Chron. 7:12). The Lord tells the king that, should he send drought, locusts, or pestilence (the Hebrew is דֶּבֶר [dever], commonly translated “plague”), then this is how the nation should respond.
When the Lord made a covenant with Israel centuries before, he had warned them that if they broke the covenant, he would hammer them with punishments. Among these are drought, insects, and plagues (Deut. 28:21; 23-24; 38). These are the very same threats God references in his speech to Solomon.
If these bad things befall them, what exactly should the Israelites do? Humble themselves (כנע [kana]), that is, submit, be subdued or humbled. Pray, that is, seek God’s face, ask him to look with mercy. And turn (שׁוב [shuv]), which is the ordinary Hebrew verb for “repent.”
When they do this, the Lord of the covenant will do three things: hear, forgive, and heal. He will shama (“hear”), heed their cry for help. He will salach (“forgive”), a Hebrew verb of which God is the sole subject in the OT; he alone can salach. And he will rafa (“heal”) the land.
How will he heal the land? By sending rain to end the drought. By removing the locusts. And by stopping the plague. Healing the land is a very concrete, earthy response to very concrete, earthy problems.
So, these verses from 2 Chronicles 7 are about the temple (where God hears), the covenant (which Israel will break), the consequences (drought, locust, plague), Israel’s response (humility, prayer, repentance), and God’s actions (hearing, forgiving, healing).
Do These Words Apply to Us? Yes and No.
The entire context of 2 Chronicles 7, while instructive and enlightening, has nothing directly to do with presidential elections, the United States of America, or 2020. To be more specific, the “land” in need of healing would be ancient Canaan, the real estate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, in the years prior to the new covenant.
To claim this verse is a God-given promise to America would be like me reading the Last Will and Testament of my neighbor’s father, in which his dad bequeathed a section of land to him, and claiming that, since I merely read the words, those 640 acres belong to me.
That being said, can we perhaps still learn something useful and applicable to us from this verse? Yes, of course!
The chief takeaway from this promise to Israel is that their only hope is the God who hears, forgives, and heals. Promises such as this to Israel are echoed, over and over, in the Lord’s promises to individuals of every age and in every place, including our own.
Jesus tells us that he is the new and replacement temple for the people of God (John 2:19-21). To him we pray; we ask, we seek, we knock at the door of our Savior, whose heart is gentle and lowly (Matt. 7:7; 11:29). Rather than thinking too highly of ourselves, we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Pet. 5:6). And we repent, that is, God’s kindness turns us, leads us, brings us to repentance (Rom. 2:4), so that even our repentance—like all good and perfect things—is a gift from our Father above (James 1:17).
We repent because God repents us, just as we believe because the Spirit gives us the gift of faith (1 Cor. 12:3).
As we enter this season of Lent, 2 Chronicles 7:14, while not directly applicable to us, does underscore the kind of God that we, individually and as members of the body of Christ, worship.
We worship a Priest who not only hears our prayers but is constantly interceding for us at the right hand of God (Rom. 8:34).
We worship a King, much greater than Solomon, who transformed his cross into a pulpit, from which he preached a prayerful absolution to the world, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” (Matthew 12:42; Luke 23:34).
And we worship a Savior, the Lamb of God, by whose wounds we are healed (Isa. 53:5).
All praise, glory, honor, and worship be to him.
• FEB 19, 2021
2 Chronicles 7:14 Meaning of If My People Who Are Called by My Name
2 Chronicles 7:14
“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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Explanation and Commentary of 2 Chronicles 7:14
The occasion was the dedication of the Temple that David had desired to build for God, but that Solomon was the one to build (1 Chron 28:3). Solomon prayed to God for blessing and favor on his people and on this holy dwelling place. God responded to Solomon with these words and others, reiterating his promises of blessings according to the covenant made previously with their fathers.
God had plans to bless them from the very beginning, and he even had contingencies in place for their lapses in obedience. Here God was providing for their eventual return, assuming that the human heart is prone to wander and cannot help but stray. He makes a promise that when they do stray, if they will only repent in truth, God will always hear and forgive them. Especially for this occasion was the promise that though he doesn’t really dwell in a mad made construction, he will condescend to do so for the sake of his people.
God loves to forgive the true-hearted penitent. He will always forgive one who is truly sorry and sincere in their repentance. He knows our weaknesses, and while he calls us to perfection, he has sent his one and only Son, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and bring us into peace with him.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of 2 Chronicles 7:14
#1 “if my people, who are called by my name,”
The Jews were the offspring of Abraham, who was the first vicarious man since Adam. This means that Abraham represented a nation that represented “all nations.” God had chosen a people to be the object of his love and blessing, but it was for the sake of the blessing of the whole world. At this point in redemptive history, the people of Abraham were the people of Yahweh, his chosen people, the people of the promise, God’s children.
#2 “will humble themselves and pray and seek my face…”
God knows that we will fall sometimes. The test to see if we belong to God or not is whether we will humbly acknowledge this when we’ve sinned, or will arrogantly go on as if God doesn’t see. God loves a humble heart that says, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Lk 18:13). Jesus said that the humble tax collector, rather than the arrogant and self-righteous Pharisee went home justified.
#3 “…and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin…”
Repentance that is true will come paired with turning from sin and “wicked ways.” Some have been taught that they can sin all they want so long as they repent every time. This is false, as an unwillingness to stop sinning is a probable sign of unbelief. Even though it may take multiple tries to change, with the help of the Holy Spirit and Christian community, the true believer has been given what he or she needs to turn and change.
#4 “…and heal their land.”
Especially in the days of David and Solomon, and the kings after them, one of the consequences of turning from God to worship idols was that the land would begin to suffer from famine, as promised by God for disobedience as a way to bring them to repentance. It was often fertility gods that were so enticing to the agrarian Israelites. In God’s mercy, he stunted the production in order to draw his wayward and adulterous people back to himself. Upon repentance, God promised to “heal the land” and lift the famine and infertility of the soil.
In order to understand 2 Chronicles 7:14, its context must be considered. That means one must understand 2 Chronicles 7:13 in order to understand verse 14. Unfortunately, a lot of people quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 without having a clue about the background of the scripture or why Solomon said those words.
Another fallacy about the verse is that some people quote only part of the scripture. The entire verse must be considered before the full meaning is revealed.
The very first thing that should be noticed is that the verse is an “if…then” statement. That simply means that the “then” part is based on the completion of the “if” part. The first part itemizes what should be done if one is to expect the second part to take place.
Second Chronicles 7:14 is just one of many conditional statements in the Bible. Sometimes the “then” is implied instead of being written to introduce the second part. However, the results are stated without the “then.”
The first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is what the nation of Israel should do in order for God to carry out His part.
Context of 2 Chronicles 7:14
Solomon dedicated the temple with a prayer. God appeared to him and gave him some reassurances and warnings for His people. The Lord said He had heard Solomon’s prayer and had chosen the temple for His place to dwell and for His place to accept sacrifices.
God also told Solomon what He would do to the land in the previous verse if the Israelites did not change their wicked ways. When the Israelites sinned against the Lord, He would shut up heaven so that no rain would come as well as sending locusts to devour the land and sending plagues on the land (2 Chronicles 7:13). However, if they did the four things in the order He commanded them, then He would hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
It is a supposition whenever you see “if” in writing or hear someone say “if.” That doesn’t mean something will happen, and it doesn’t mean something won’t happen. It simply means “suppose it happens.”
The word “If” introduces a clause with conditions for results stated after “then” whether the word is listed or implied.
If you clean the house, then I will take you to the mall. (with “then”)
If you clean the house, I will take you to the mall. (implied without “then)
The scripture is addressed to the nation of Israel and NOT to an individual. The Israelites are God’s chosen people. He had a covenant relationship with them. Therefore, He directly addressed them as “My people.”
Sometimes individuals are self-proclaimed God’s people. They call themselves God’s people without having a relationship with Him. God clears that up by saying, “My people who are called by my name.” If you want this scripture to apply to you, then you must make sure you belong to God.
The List of Things to Do
The things to do are included in the longest part of the scripture with four things God commanded the nation to do.
1. Humble themselves
3. Seek God’s face
4. Turn from their wicked ways
All four things are action verbs which mean God’s people had to do those things in God’s prescribed order for Him to do what He promised.
“Then” is the result of the “If” only after the conditions have been met. Keep in mind that the first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 has four important things that the nation must do in order for God to do the three things He said He would do.
Unless the entire scripture is quoted or taught, a disservice is given to God’s complete word. If leaders in the church neglect to teach the entire verse, there will be no anointing or power and the intent of the verse becomes null and void. Therefore, teach and preach ALL of the scripture without skipping any part of it.
“Hear From Heaven”
When all the actions have been carried out, then God says He would hear from heaven and heal Israel’s land. In other words, He would deliver national mercy on His people.
After God gave His condition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He added:
“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16).
“Forgive Their Sin”
God will forgive their sin before He will give His people what they need. That’s why we should pray for forgiveness for our sins before we make requests to God.
The sin of the nation of Israel was that God’s people turned their backs on Him. They did so by rebelling against His commandments and began to worship other gods.
“Heal Their Land”
It was not unusual for God’s judgment to be on Israel’s land from time to time when the people sinned and rejected Him. God’s judgment upon the land would come in the form of famine, drought, locusts, or pestilence.
Also, the enemies of God’s people were sent by God to destroy the land by burning it or sprinkling it with salt so nothing would grow on it. Destroying the land meant no food for people or animals. Destroying the land was devastating. That’s why God promised to “heal the land” at the end of the verse provided His people did what He commanded.
More than likely, it is not your land that needs healing. Whatever does needs healing, that is what God can do for you personally. Feel free to do the four things God commanded. When you get to the part about praying, pray for whatever you need to be healed whether it is a marriage, relationship, finances, career, health, or other personal needs you have. However, know that even though 2 Chronicles 7:14 was for national healing of the land, you can use it as an example of what you need to do for your personal situation..