“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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Reading this passage at first glance, you might assume the people of Israel had a lot to make amends for. But if you put it in context, the story paints a slightly different picture. Solomon had just finished building the temple for God, the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem, and the Lord’s presence descended and filled the temple with fire. This message comes right after the temple has just been fully dedicated and everything appears to be going very well.
Yet, it was precisely in the place of great economic success, after Solomon finished building his own kingdom with a house for himself and the Lord, where the Lord appeared to Solomon to tell Him the heavens will be shut, locusts will devour the land, and pestilence will attack the people.
The Lord’s instructive during this time, was for his chosen people to do as follows:
- Humble Themselves
- Cry Out through Prayer
- Seek God’s Face
- Repent from Ungodliness
As a gracious response, the Lord would hear, forgive, and heal. On one hand, the Lord could appear manipulative forcing the hand of Solomon’s people to worship and serve him only. On the other hand, the Lord is incredibly gracious to warn them of what was coming, to give them clear directives and a choice for how to respond, as well as offering them deeper intimacy with him, the freedom of forgiveness, and holistic healing.
Sometimes we view circumstantial trouble as God forcing our hand, but what if is God inviting us to a deeper level of intimacy, a greater experience of forgiveness and a more holistic healing?
Join with us in prayer over these next 28 days, and see if seeking God’s face brings these about in your walk with him. Take the opportunity today to invite someone else to join you in this journey.
By Yvonne Biel