Far from encouraging a fatalistic mindset, 2 Chronicles 7:13–14 provides God’s people with an action plan for aligning our hearts with the heart of God in times of crisis:
“‘At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land’” (NLT).
In times of crisis, we are encouraged to:
- Humble ourselves – We can submit our ambitions, our reputations, our possessions, and our emotions to God as the sovereign ruler.
- Repent – We can examine our own hearts and repent of any sin we may be harboring.
- Renounce evil – We can assess our national culture with the intent of separating ourselves from any cultural mindset that contravenes God’s moral commands.
- Prayerfully seek God – We can seek God’s will for our lives and for our nation.
- Engage culture – Implicit in all this is that we should also challenge those around us to follow these steps of evaluation, repentance, and submission.
- Trust God’s heart – We can fall to our knees to intercede for mercy upon our nation, asking that God will grant us more time to influence those around us with the transforming power of the gospel. We can trust that God’s heart is not to judge but to restore a righteous relationship with His people and ask that He will grant us more opportunity to accomplish this.
If enough citizens internalize 2 Chronicles 7:13–14, then perhaps God will relent, just as He did toward Nineveh: “When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it” (Jonah 3:10, ESV).
Notably, the national difficulties mentioned in 2 Chronicles 7:13 are the plagues that Moses warned would befall Israel if the nation neglected God. Moses anticipated and warned against a time when Israel’s peace and prosperity would lead to spiritual complacency:
Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God … I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshipping and bowing to them, you will certainly be destroyed (Deut. 8:11b–14a, 19, NLT).
Importantly, Moses’ solution was fundamentally the same as God’s instruction in 2 Chronicles 7:13–14: “I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy” (Deut. 30:16, NLT).
God’s solution to our problems remains the same today. His solution is consistently sprawled across the pages of Scripture from beginning to end: Stop rebelling. God told Cain in the first pages of the Old Testament, “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out!” (Gen. 4:7a). And Jesus announced in the New Testament, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’” (Matt. 22:37, NLT).
As forerunners, we offer a simple solution for any who will listen: What we can do when confronted with the consequences of our rebellion is stop rebelling. We can replace our defiance with obedience. In short, we can love God and obey Him.
This article comes from Heart of a Forerunner: How to Be a Relevant and Influential Voice in a Wayward Nation
Download your free copy here.
No works available
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.