“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.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
How are you? Today’s verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14, is a long one with many parts to it. In researching and praying about the verse, I have found that there are many interpretations of the verse. As always, I pray that you read God’s Word, pray, and research yourself for the meaning of the verse. However, I would like to give you some food for thought.
First of all, it is interesting to notice that this is an “If/then statement.” We read, if this happens, then that will happen. It is one of those times when we are called to know and understand that even though God has unconditional love, His actions and answers to prayer are not necessarily unconditional. Out of His unconditional love, He tries to discipline His people and teach them right from wrong, so that they will seek Him and do His will for them.
The first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14, says, “If my people…”. And, actually, that first part of “my people” is clarified further by “which are called by my name...”. I have noticed in my research that there is disagreement among interpreters as to who is meant by “If my people, which are called by my name…”.
At the time, it was meant for God’s chosen people, the Israelites. However, since God’s Word, like God himself, transcends all time, and since God opened up his Word to everyone to have the opportunity to believe, I think it is meant for all believers and followers of God. What are your thoughts?
Another thing to point out about 2 Chronicles 7:14 before I go much further is that this isn’t the only time that God has said these basic words. He has warned and encouraged His people time and time again with these words. And, this isn’t the first time God has said these words. There had been other times in history where these words were said and things were good for a while, but then the Israelites turned away from God and His commands and started worshipping idols, so God brought the famine or exile or promised consequence until His people listened to His message to “humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways”.
We are called to do four different things in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We are called to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God’s face, and to turn from our wicked ways. Let’s look at that first one, especially.
I think to humble ourselves is difficult for all of us, because of our human nature. What does it mean to humble ourselves? I think if we were to put it simplistically, it would mean to not think that we know it all, because we don’t. To humble ourselves might mean to apologize, even though it may seem like we are making ourselves look weak or wrong. In a way, being humble is being honest and kind. We don’t know it all, God does. So, if we are honest, we will show that in our words and actions. If we are kind, we will care about others and be honest, take responsibility for our actions, even our mistakes and apologize. We wouldn’t want to hurt someone or do something wrong without making amends and helping the other feel better. Being humble is showing that we don’t think we are bigger, stronger, more important, smarter, or better than anyone else, including God.
Once we realize these things, it seems easier to pray, to ask God for forgiveness, to be honest, to admit our faults and limitations, to turn to God and to seek Him, as well as to ask God for help and for guidance. As we turn to God and get closer to Him, it will be easier for us to turn from our wicked ways.
Isn’t it wonderful that God loves us and gives us a schematic in the way we should go!?! It is such a blessing that God loves us so much to be not just our Creator, but also our Heavenly Father. He cares enough to be a loving parent, to teach us right from wrong, to reward us if we do right, to show us the way to go and what is best for us, and to love us like we have never been loved before.
There is one other point that I want to bring up. Right now, we are going through a pandemic. People are fighting about rights. There are arguments about whether or not we should get vaccinated and whether or not we should be required to wear masks. There are people struggling, losing life, losing money, losing jobs, worrying about loved ones, working under pressure, and many other things with this pandemic. I wouldn’t hesitate to say, that no matter which side of the arguments or theories we are on, we are probably all tired of the pandemic.
So, it might be interesting to look at the pandemic in light of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and other similar verses. Does that mean I am saying that God created the pandemic? NO! I am not saying that at all. I don’t know whether God created it or is allowing it or what. Are we being called to learn a lesson from the pandemic? Are we being called to humble ourselves, to pray, to turn to God, and to turn from our wicked ways, so that God can heal our land?
No matter our thoughts on the pandemic, it might do us well and to show God our love to humble ourselves, to go to Him in prayer, to seek His will for us and His guidance in this situation, and to turn from our wicked ways.
I know. It is difficult at times to think that anything we do is really wicked. However, that isn’t the point. It is good to know that we are sinners and big or small, sin is sin. So, no matter how good we think we are, we can still learn from this verse.
Thank you for being our Creator and our Heavenly Father. Thank you for loving us and guiding us. Help us to put our trust in you and to follow your will for us. Help us to live according to your Word. Help us realize your love and be thankful for it. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV):
*What does 2 Chronicles 7:14 mean to me?
*Do I understand that God truly loves me, even enough to discipline me?
*Do I understand the difference between unconditional love and unconditional doing things for others?
*Do I understand that showing our loved ones the difference between right
and wrong is a wonderful form of love?
*What is God teaching me through 2 Chronicles 7:14?
*Is God teaching me something through the pandemic or other hardships?
*How can I reframe my thinking to better understand 2 Chronicles 7:14?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I look forward to reading your comments and ideas. What are your ideas and comments in regards to 2 Chronicles 7:14? What is God trying to teach you through those words? Do you think we can relate those words to the pandemic?
If you haven't done so already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog and other faith content in your inbox. Also, if you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others. Thank you. God bless.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
How are you today? Today, we continue with The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations. As we look at the seventh beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount, let us remember that worldly views are not God’s views. We could see the word peacemakers and jump to the wrong sort of conclusions.
In the first part of the verse, it says, “Blessed are the peacemakers…”. What comes to mind when you hear the word peacemaker? This may seem like a strange question, but what do you think a peacemaker does? However, the answer may be different than you think.
When we think of “peacemakers” we often think about people who try to placate others and keep the peace at all times. They often compromise to “not rock the boat” or to try to get others to do the same. We may think that peacemakers are those who will do anything to keep peace, not rock the boat, and to stop an argument or war.
We may think that this type of peacemaker is good. Who wants an argument or a war? We might even think that these types of people are being good and selfless. They are giving up their own wants to please others, to help others, and to keep the peace. Yet, that is a worldly peacemaker, not a heavenly peacemaker.
It may be okay to compromise on what color shirt you want to wear or which vegetable you cook with supper. However, God doesn’t call us to compromise our beliefs to bring others peace.
If God wanted peace like that, worldly peace not matter what. Jesus wouldn’t have said in Matthew 10:34 (KJV), “Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Also, if God wanted peacemakers to have peace on earth as we think of it, He wouldn’t have told the Israelites to kill the inhabitants when He gave them the promise land.
So, if God is not calling us to have the type of peace that gives in to others or stops wars and arguments at all cost, what sort of peace is He calling us to make?
Actually, I believe that if we research the Holy Bible and pray about it, we will find that God isn’t asking us to encourage a peace between each other, but that he is calling us as Christians and believers to show others how to have peace between them and God. In other words, God is calling us to encourage others to be believers and follow God’s ways, so that they are “for” God and not “against” God.
God doesn’t want us to placate others to not rock the boat. He gives us verse like Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) which says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” He wants us to stand up for God’s ways and show them to others. He wants us to correct others if they are doing things against God’s will. He calls us to sharpen each other’s understanding of His will for us. God doesn’t want us to give in to others or plaster them with feel good vanity and half-truths.
Does that mean the God wants us to fight fights, start wars, and have arguments? I think that is a question better left to God. I think that we are to still remember to “turn the other cheek” as Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:39. I think we should still leave the vengeance to God as Paul reminds us in Romans 12:19. However, I can’t say whether God is calling us to fight or not. In some cases, like when the Israelites fought for the promise land, they were called by God to fight.
Now that we have explored the first part of the verse, let’s look at the second part of the verse where it says, “… for they shall be called children of God.” What are your thoughts on the meaning of being called the children of God?
I think there are a few ways to think about the “children of God.” First of all, some translations say the “sons of God.” If we think about Jesus as being the “Son of David” than we know that it was customary back then to think of “son of” as sometimes being a generic or general term for lineage and a member or follower of a certain family or person. (I am not a scholar or a translator, so hopefully I said that correctly.) So, saying that those people who are helping others become followers of God are “children of God” would make sense in the Old Testament sense, because that would put us followers of God and in God’s family. I believe that is the same sort of sentiment that Jesus meant when in Matthew 12:50, he said, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” If by doing God’s will we are brothers and sisters of Jesus, then that means we are children of God.
Thank you for giving us your holy Word. Help us to understand the difference between heavenly peace and worldly peace. Help us to know what we are to do to become peacemakers as in Matthew 5:9. Help us to act in a way that would make us your children. I ask this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Reflective questions for Matthew 5:9 (KJV):
*What does Matthew 5:9 mean to me?
*What does it mean to me to be a peacemaker?
*What are the differences between worldly and heavenly peacemakers?
*What do peacemakers do?
*Am I a peacemaker?
*What does it mean to be a child of God?
*Am I a child of God?
*What can I do to better live the words of Matthew 5:9?
If you haven't read the other parts in The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations already, you may want to do so now.
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 1
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 2
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 3
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 4
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 5
*The Beatitudes Series by DUO Inspirations - Part 6
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on peacemakers and God's children, or whatever you feel inspired to say. Please, leave me a comment below or feel free to contact me. If you are finding value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please share it with friends and family. Also, if you haven't done so already, you may want to sign up below to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content sent right to your inbox. Have a blessed week!
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.