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.
The word of God cries out to us as never before. Just as our scripture today demands to be contextual it is abundantly so that this tragedy in Texas be treated in the same way. There will be many theories as to why and how that day came to be, none will do justice to the tragedy and in all probability will be nothing more than and exercise in placing blame. Truth is, we all share in the blame and the shame of allowing our nation to have fallen so far from God that our Morales have become nothing more than slogans and our faith in God a matter of convenience to often influenced by cultural and societal agendas.
Here is 7:14 in its context…
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 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, 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.
This verse 7:14 is tied to the Temple and to Israel with a warning that from time to time it is possible that God could come against them. If we read on we have more insight into the context.
2 Chronicles 7:19-22 “But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21 And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
In Deuteronomy 28 God entered into a Covenant with Israel. God tells them he will take care of them and they will prosper as long as they obeyed Him. You can view it anyway you want but the simple fact was their prosperity was dependent on their obedience to God.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. (ESV)
Solomon would have recognized that the divine blessing and divine punishment on Israel were conditional on their obedience or disobedience. It is at this point that we must acknowledge that covenant with Israel was much different from what we have today. The covenant was to the nation of Israel…en masse…the nation as a whole. We are in a completely different situation…we are not a theocracy. Now I am sure that not every Israeli went to their knees in prayer but the plea went to the nation as a whole. There are some scriptures involved here that would be of some help.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Biblical history reminds us of those who came before us carrying high the Cross of Christ. We should turn from our evil ways, pick up the Cross and continue the race.
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
It is only right and just that as a nation we turn to our God in humble prayer.
8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We serve a God of restoration…not condemnation.
We will find no comfort in those who rail, accuse and condemn in pursuit of their own agendas…But know this…All across this great nation there are those on their knees in their churches and the privacy of their homes that may be assured that any loss of his creation is felt by our Father in Heaven. Sometimes there are no words…just the groaning of the believer that only God can understand. Sometimes life ain’t all that good but…
God is Good