“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.
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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?
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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.