Weekly word – 3/16/23

2 Chronicles 7:12-22

        Several years ago, my wife and I were driving to California for a well-earned vacation. The trip was right around 800 miles. For us, that’s a two day trip. That’s a great time to look at what had happened in the past year, and to do a little thinking and planning about what we would be doing in the next several months.

        Knowing that we would run out of things to talk about somewhere along the trip, or that we would need to take a break from talking, we brought along several CD’s. Sure, the radio works, but because you’re moving down a highway we thought the CD’s would work better than searching for stations to listen to as we drove. 

        We were into day two, somewhere just north of the turn off for San Francisco, heading for the coast, when Guyla put in a CD of really good Christian music. As the second or third song began playing, the words hit us like a brick. The song playing was “If My people”, written by Gary Mulgrew.  The words are from 2 Chronicles 7:14. Both of us were mesmerized by what we were hearing.  It has stayed with us all this time and I thought I would share it with you.

       It comes from, as I said, 2 Chronicles chapter 7. Solomon has completed the Temple for God, and in verses 1-11, we see what he had done to consecrate the Temple, and that God had accepted the Temple as His dwelling place among His people.

       In verses 12 through 18, God speaks to Solomon and gives him a promise, but then in verses 19- 22 God gives him a warning. 

       My message today, begins with the warning.

God’s Warning 

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 you from My land which I have given you, and this house which 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 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”

       Do you see a parallel with what is happening today in or country? I do! 

       I believe that God has taken His hand off this country and we will see things get even worse as time goes on. All around us SIN rears its ugly head. The people in our country accept abominations that God has justly punished in scripture. Homosexuality, abortion, lying before and to Him, and using His Holy name to desecrate Him.  However, as usual, God is a just God and gives us hope. I say hope because the first thing that God gave Solomon was the Promise in verses 12-18.

God’s Promise

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14 and 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. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the [e]prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘]You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’

       Let’s choose, as a “People Called by His Name” and as a nation, to:

       1.    humble ourselves before a Holy God,

       2.    turn from our wicked ways, 

       3.    pray for Him to hear our prayers,

       4.    pray that He will forgive our sins, and

       5.    pray that He will heal our land as He has promised in verse 14.

        I believe that our country can be reunited with a Holy God if we, as His people, will do what He asks of us. Take the words of 2nd Chronicles to heart, and follow then the words of Matthew 28:19- 20

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”      AMEN

       Are you in?  

        I am!        

        I hope to see you in the fields. 

        Planting, watering or harvesting!

Ed Johanson