When we read the oft quoted text from 2 Chronicles: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,’ we possibly may be infiltrating a hope which God never intended.
Most importantly, it is GOD who is doing the talking here, and not Solomon. ‘I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen THIS place.’
The context is Israel, specifically the dedication of the temple, and like many of the prophets who called God’s earthly people to dependence on Him alone, they have gone astray, but the ever benevolent God of creation offers a way of restoration to Himself, which in turn re-creates peace in the land.
‘Then was there peace during the reign of Hezekiah,’ for if the leader is righteous, the people will prosper without war and harassment by their enemies.
But a far more destructive and insidious threat, is not from without but from within. When a countries main enemies are from within its very borders, that nation’s leader must be scrutinized, for the health of a nation is in proportion to its federal head.
If the temperature was taken of the United States, what would the doctor write on his notepad? I assume this physician would be impartial and blind to party or race, but what would be the health of the pulse?
I submit the breathing is strained, there are hiccups that are chronic, there is dizziness, there is an epidemic case of mistrust, there is a bizarre case of media blindness, there are sexual perversions promoted by Hollywood and the music industry, there are racial crimes that are common daily by individuals and groups, there is national gluttony for garbage television, and there is an unsatiable desire to be victims of debt.
Yes, the good doctor lays down his stethoscope and says: ‘There is no medicine for this ailment,’ and he is correct, for people do not admit their sinnership, therefore healing cannot flow.
Would God heal the United States anyway? Does 2 Chron. apply to the U.S? I think the safety net would be to answer yes and no.
Yes in the respect that God honors a contrite heart, where an individual could be made right with Him, but no in the context that the Christian was not promised a bucket of dirt.
The land between the Euphrates and the Great Sea (which is still contested) was promised to the offspring of Abraham, confirmed through Isaac and Jacob, and taught by Peter, Paul, and James.
COULD God heal the U.S.A? Of course He could, as there is nothing too hard for Him, but the United States is not the subject of prophecy, and this is disturbing to many, but it is rightly dividing the word of truth. America is God blessed who could deny, and truly founded on godly principles, but the only way for 2 Chronicles to be contextually possible, the U.S. would need a king approved by God.
This is where the train derailed years ago and remains off track, for the United States is not the new Israel. Once this idea is digested and thought to be nourishment, the scriptures can be bent to fit any template, and this is not God’s way.
‘If my people,’ yes, God has people everywhere, and expects His people to be humble and pray, but ‘healing the land’ is reserved for his covenantal promise. Of course people may benefit from the ancillary interpretation, as ‘all scripture is profitable,’ but when the Lord told the man to go into Jerusalem and find the donkey, he was not talking to me, nor to you. Yet, when he told the woman to ‘go and sin no more,’ He most certainly was speaking to us as well. This is the cutting in a straight line the word of truth.
2 Chronicles is used by the mockers to say: ‘see, your God hears you not, for how do you explain all your righteous prayers, yet He remains aloof or uncaring?’ I would say to them, ‘you are correct, but you are also mistaken.’ Righteous prayers yes, but uncaring or aloof no.’ Prayer must be according to the will of God, like asking for a mountain to be removed; perhaps it is not the right time for that mountain to be moved, God hears, His time is simply ‘not yet.’ God’s silence is enough to the faithful.
In the unbelievers assault on God and His people, comfort can be had knowing that ‘the wrath of man praises God.’ So in the United States, all believers should pray for those in authority, knowing full well that ‘evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.’ This doesn’t sound like the climate for a land being healed.
It was said yesterday that the Rose Bowl will feature a gay marriage on the float. In your face decadence promoted by 3 per cent of the population, and controlled by 90 per cent of the media. Tell me this is not an agenda of doom.
Have God’s people humbled themselves and prayed? If the answer is yes, than the infidel is correct again, and finds amusement saying ‘where is your God who heals the land?’ But I say to him: ‘This verse primarily does not apply to the United States, hence the lack of God’s hand.’
This is a much safer interpretation, and leaves the skeptic frustrated, leaves the Christian hopeful, and leaves God’s promises to Israel intact.
‘THEN’ will I turn from heaven. In everything there is a season, a time and a purpose to everything under heaven. I dare not question God’s timing and He certainly does not have to check with me to forward His purposes. With men daily thumbing their noses at God and testing His patience, with the United States quickly becoming Sodom on a larger scale, what right would Americans have in thinking that the U.S. deserves more favor?
‘Give us a king,’ was the cry of old, and it was an answer to a people’s heart far from God. A godly person needs not a king, he knows what to do, where to go, what to give, how to act, what to say, what to pray. So the United States has a form of a king, and leanness of the soul is far too evident.
CNN with Anderson Cooper leading the charge of depravity, raises his mouth to the ‘new king,’ and many others say ‘we have a messiah for president.’ Yes, like the Israelites who lost their way, so too have Americans fallen prey to the golden calves of media, Hollywood, and idol worship.
America is not Israel, and God has no reason to bring America from the ‘sea of despondency’ (C.S.Lewis I think). Individuals yes are called, as this is the essence of evangelization, but the only national repentance will be yet future when ‘all Israel will be saved.’ This is a tale for another time.
2 Chronicles has been quoted a thousand times with good intentions, but the caveat that the general spirit of the scripture may be applied, while leaving alone the specific truth, that ‘my people,‘ at least as written here, has to do with the Jews and the Israelites.
It should be stated that by Israel’s unbelief, the church has a higher position with Christ in the heavenlies, where the weakest babe is part of the body, safe and secure as the Head Himself. Pray without ceasing, preach in season and out of season, humble yourself (I speak to myself) and give thanks always to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who is Wonderful, who is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Knowing this, it should be much easier to ‘humble, pray, seek the face of the Lord, and turn from our wicked ways,’ but as a nation, while America denies its wickedness, thankfully we as individuals can claim right to our spiritual poverty and prosper in the will of God.
Pingback: If my people… — reblogged from THE NAKED TRUTH 2 | Citizen Tom
That’s a good look at 2 Chronicles and the attention to the text that it’s primarily about Israel and not the US
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I would be willing to guess that you have had your share of interesting convos regarding this chapter. There was not time nor space to develop the thought, but the articles in the temple, in particular the cherubims of glory, should be a great asset in getting right the context. (the ark, the covenant of the Lord)