“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,”2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV).
I admit, that this has been one of my most favorite passages, for many years now. I’ve been led before to write about this; it seems it was called for, to talk about that little word “if.” It just didn’t really occur to me, to read the verse above this; and to study more closely just why God said this. The Temple had been built; all of the splendor and glory we’ve so often talked about. I didn’t know until today, that fire came down out of heaven and consumed the sacrifices. The Glory of the Lord was so strong, a cloud of smoke so thick, that the people couldn’t even get inside.
This verse that is being posted so often, did not come, until after the one before it. In essence, God told Solomon, that if He was in the middle of punishing His people for their disobedience, and bringing harsh destruction on them; and they did what we have been reciting over and again, He would turn away His wrath and heal the land. But they had to turn, from their wicked ways. It’s not the first time judgment was brought against the children of God. He forgave them over and again; but sometimes, He just didn’t.
How we in this hour, can quote this scripture, and never think we have to obey all of it, I honestly can’t understand. There is no need to ask anyone again, what these wicked ways were, we were all supposed to turn from. We never even thought we had any.We had it all, and we knew it all; it was not remotely possible, that we had offended God. You see, I have been digging, and I mean I’ve been digging hard; I’ve looked at my ways all over again. How is it that so many don’t get it, that suffering, should cause us to search.
In the light of God’s mercy, I don’t want to say this too harshly. But many folk, need to read verses 19-22 also. Because, it’s just exactly what God said He was going to do, if they didn’t humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn. We all need to read that, so that we clearly understand, just what God was saying here. So many of us, have turned to idols. We’ve made idols out of people, even our own selves; loving things and pleasures, more than God.
19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, 20 then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
21And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and this house?’ 22 Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them,”2 Chronicles 7:19-22 (NKJV).
If we genuinely search to follow after the Spirit, He will turn, and search us. How many of us can be honest today, that there were some things we did, we really didn’t realize what kind of spirit we had? I believe today, that it is possible to get lost, in trying to do all the right things, and trusting that those over you, are doing the right thing. It might sound mundane, but if we are not seeking to follow the leading of the Spirit, we are not going to know, if others are either. Only the Spirit, can tell if we’re going in the right way.
If we refuse to accept all of what this beloved verse says, we may need to stop quoting it. A lukewarm people and a lukewarm church will think they having nothing to turn from. These wicked ways that we all shy away from, and absolutely refuse to even talk about, have harmed and help to destroy many. And the only way to truly seek His face, is to get on our face before Him. God got tired of His own people rejecting Him; He let them go and saw to it that they did not succeed any further. The Apostle, said He would turn from us also; and for way too many of us, He has already begun.
~ Robert Blackburn