How 2 Chronicles 7:14 Applies Today
There has been a rapid moral and spiritual decline in America. Hostility toward Christianity is escalating throughout the world. Many Christians would like to claim the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that God would “hear from heaven,” “forgive their sin,” and “heal their land.” But God made this promise to the nation of Israel 3,000 years ago. Does it apply to us today? This Bible study will examine God’s promises in 2 Chron 7:14 and how they apply today.
A 22-page e-Book, entitled “The 3-Promises and 5-Conditions of 2 Chronicles 7:14“, is available for immediate download if you would like a a more in-depth Bible Study on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Get the free e-Book.
Table of contents
- How 2 Chronicles 7:14 Applies Today
- The 3 Promises of 2 Chron 7:14
- The 5-Conditions of 2 Chron 7:14
The 3 Promises of 2 Chron 7:14
God gave Solomon a 3-fold conditional promise of what He would do in response to people meeting His conditions. This section will examine the 3-promises in 2 Chron 7:14.
1. I will Hear from heaven
God knows everything we think, say and do. So, God hears all prayers in the sense that He knows everything anyone asks of Him. The word, “hear,” does not refer to the physical sense of hearing. It means to listen, pay attention, and give heed to what someone is saying.
Psalm 66:18-19 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer” (KJV).
God knows if we are aware of sin in our life that we that we cling to rather than confessing. If we heed not the Spirit’s rebuke, then God will not “hear” (regard) our prayer. God will not accept our prayers if we accept sin in our heart.
The first promise is, that if God’s people will humbly confess and turn from their sins, and seek to please Him, God will pay attention and give heed to their prayers. If we want to claim God’s promise to Solomon, we must confess and forsake any sin in our lives that we are aware of. If you do, then God will listen to you.
2. Forgive Sin
Sin is any disobedience to God’s revealed will. For Israel, that meant any failure to obey God’s commands given through Moses (the Mosaic Law).
Christians today have been freed from the ceremonial requirements of the Old Testament Law, which were specifically for Israel. But God still expects Christians to obey the moral aspects of the law. In fact, Christ raised the bar by spiritualizing the requirements above mere physical obedience. God looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) and wants us to be pure in heart (Matthew 5:8) and soul, not merely in outward appearance.
The word, “forgive,” means to forgive, pardon, release. It refers to removing the guilt of sin and releasing the forgiven one from the penalty for their wrongdoing.
God takes no pleasure in punishing the wicked. Instead, God’s desire is for those who do evil to turn from their wicked ways and live (Ezekiel 33:11). The Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
Our Heavenly Father is a gracious God, abounding in mercy and love, who wants to relent from punishing sin (Jonah 4:2). God loved the world so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins so those who believe in Him and repent of their sin may be forgiven (John 3:16).
God wants to forgive sin, but first we must humbly confess our sin and turn from it.
3. Heal their land
In the context of God’s promise to Solomon in 2 Chron 7:14, “their land” refers to the promised land of God’s chosen people Israel.
The word “heal” in this verse refers to God restoring His favor to the Children of Israel, by removing the consequences of their backsliding and returning peace and prosperity within their Promised Land.
It should be noted that in the context of 2 Chronicles 7:13, God is promising to remove His chastisement from the land. He will end the drought, get rid of the devouring insects and stop the plague which He brought upon them in punishment for their sin. The Bible provides many examples of God delivering His people from outside enemies that were invading their land as well.
When sin is confessed and forsaken, God promises to bestow forgiveness and favor upon His repentant people. When a people turn from their sin, He will remove the chastisement He has brought upon their land.
The 5-Conditions of 2 Chron 7:14
1. If My people, called by My name
The first condition of God’s promise is that His people, who are called by His name must collectively meet the rest of the conditions. In Old Testament times this applied to the Children of Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream told him that Mary would bring forth a son conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that Joseph should “call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Today God’s people are those who have been saved from their sins by faith in God’s Son and are called by His name (Christ).
2. Humble Themselves
Humility is the most important requirement for claiming the promise of 2 Chron 7:14. God’s people are to keep on humbling themselves before His authority, power and majesty. They must repent of any pride in their lives and acknowledge their sin and unworthiness.
In Bible times, God’s people often demonstrated humility before God by afflicting their souls with fasting and bowing down in prayer before Him in sackcloth (i.e.: burlap) and ashes (Job 42:6; Nehemiah 1:4; Esther 4:1, 3,16; 2 Kings 12:1-2).
When Nineveh repented, God relented
God responds to the humble repentance of those who acknowledge Him, even if they are not His people. The ungodly people of Nineveh humbled themselves with fasting and repentance in sackcloth and ashes when warned of impending judgment (Jonah 3:6-10). When Nineveh repented, God relented from bringing judgment upon them (Jonah 3:10). God relented because He is “a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness” (Jonah 4:2).
Humility is imperative when seeking God’s mercy!
2 Chron 7:14 does not elaborate on the 3rd condition. It simply says that God’s people must pray. God expects us to ask if we want Him to do something for us.
Rather than being fearful or anxious, “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). And we should keep on praying about our request. As 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, we should “pray without ceasing.”
For prayer to be effective, in addition to humbling ourselves, we must:
• Pray in faith, believing we will receive our requests
• Be specific in our requests
• Agree with others when we pray as a group. Our prayers must harmonize with those of others. God should hear our request as one united voice.
• Give God a reason. How will this bring glory to God? Remind God of His promises in His Word.
4. Seek God’s Face
The 4th condition of God’s promise to Solomon is that His people must ‘seek His face.’ This means we must diligently search for God’s presence and seek to please Him. We are to seek God with all our heart and soul (Jeremiah 29:13; Deuteronomy 4:29; 1 Chronicles 22:19; Psalm 119:2).
‘Seeking God’s face’ refers to diligently searching to know God and seek His favor. The best way to seek to know God is by studying His Word the Bible. The best way to seek God’s favor is by believing His Word and humbly trusting Him.
If we want God to answer our prayers, we must seek Him with all our hearts, minds and souls, and seek to please Him so the light of His countenance will shine favorably upon us.
5. Turn from Wicked Ways
The 5th condition of God’s promise in 2 Chron 7:14 is that His people must “turn from their wicked ways.” This requirement is straightforward; people must repent of their sin and change their behavior.
God will not forgive ongoing sinful conduct and lifestyles. We must change our minds about how we have been living, and humbly confess it as sin. We must turn from our wicked ways to God and obey His Word.
In the physical world, “turning” involves a change in direction. Turning from one thing automatically results in turning toward something else. To successfully change a habit, behavior or lifestyle you must replace it. Trying to stop something without replacing it will leave a vacuum that will be filled by something. If you don’t replace it, you will return to it.
“Turning from their wicked ways” therefore requires not only repenting of sin and turning from worldly ways, it inherently necessitates turning to God in humble obedience to His Word. We must seek God’s Face, searching the Scriptures and obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and seek to please Him in righteous ways.
Does this promise apply to America, or any other nation, in the 21st century?
So far, this article has briefly explained the 3-Promises and 5-Conditions of 2 Chronicles 7:14. We will now turn our attention to if and how these promises apply to God’s people today. This section will address how 2 Chron 7:14 applies in the applications of individual Christians, nations, groups and even non-Christians.
Individual Christian Fellowship
While God’s promise to Solomon specifically addressed the national repentance of God’s people Israel and their restoration in the promised land, the principles can be applied by any believer who is experiencing trials and adversity. It is particularly applicable to those who are being chastised for sin in their lives.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The principles of 2 Chron 7:14 provide detailed guidance on how Christians can apply 1 John 1:9 in their lives.
1 John 1:9 is addressed to those who are God’s people because they have fellowship with the Father and His Son through faith in Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3). Confessing sin involves humbly acknowledging your sin to God in prayer, repenting of and turning from that sin, and seeking restoration of your fellowship with God.
When we as individuals confess our sins to God following the principles of 2 Chronicles 7:14, God will hear our prayers of repentance, forgive our sins, cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and restore our personal fellowship with Him (1 John 1).
Christians in America, and elsewhere around the world, are distressed by the growing ungodliness and hostility toward Christianity in our country. Our culture is becoming more decadent and many children raised in Christian homes are abandoning Christianity.
We don’t know how to turn the tide, so we turn to God in prayer. Many sincere Christians seek to invoke the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 in the hope that God will intervene and heal our land. But does this promise apply to America, or any other nation, in the 21st century?
As previously noted, the primary application of God’s promise to Solomon was for His chosen people Israel, the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
But America is not Israel. Many Jews live in America, but we are not God’s chosen people.
And America is not God’s people. America is no longer a Christian nation; many people say it never was.
Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan, like a master chess player, has been craftily waging war on Christianity in America, slowly eroding Biblical beliefs and moral behavior within our culture.
It is said that you can boil a frog by just slowly turning up the heat. Satan has been slowly turning the heat up on Christianity in America for over one hundred years. Now that the water has reached the boiling point, the Christian remnant is feeling the heat and wants relief.
But the adversity we are experiencing does not appear to be chastisement from God. It has come from within our nation by the active work of school boards, “science” teachers, the media, and even many preachers undermining the foundation of faith in the Bible. God is just letting us reap what we have sown (Galatians 6:7) by the inaction of Christians within our nation.
God left Christians “in the world” (John 17:11) to show His glory to the world and preserve righteousness within our cultures, that the world might know and believe that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world to save it (John 17:21-23). But too many “Christians” have become like the world and “of the world” (John 17:14-16).
Salt stings open wounds and bright light hurts eyes accustomed to the dark. Some well-meaning Christians dim their light because they think it would be unkind to hurt unbelievers with God’s truth. But we are called to be salt, not sugar.
Many “Christians” have compromised with ungodly naturalistic worldviews and philosophies. They have lost their saltiness and become good for nothing (Matthew 5:13). Instead of letting the light of Christ shine through them and bringing glory to God (Matthew 5:14-16), they have allowed the light of Christ to grow dim in their lives. And they keep that hidden to avoid ridicule and persecution.
Many “Christians” want to straddle the fence to be accepted by their culture. They seek friendship with the world, but that makes them God’s enemies (James 4:4).
Jesus said, “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth” (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). There is no middle ground. There can be no compromise. Unless you love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and humbly confess and forsake your worldly ways, then God will not hear you as you seek His favor in healing your land.
Our culture has decayed and become dark because we as God’s children have failed to be the salt and light God called us to be.
For all these reasons, I don’t think we can claim 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a promise to heal the ills of our nation. But God is still loving and merciful. This verse demonstrates how we should seek God’s mercy as we boldly come before His thrown of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). We need to humble ourselves before God, confessing that we and our predecessors have become like the world.
If we turn from our sin, take up our cross daily and openly walk in the righteous ways of Christ, perhaps God may graciously lengthen the days of tranquility within our land (Daniel 6:27).
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”Joel 2:12-14 (NKJV)
So, rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.
Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him . . .?
The healing of a nation would require widespread repentance among the people of that nation, seeking their Creator’s favor and turning from their wicked ways. The people of Nineveh “repented at the preaching of Jonah” (Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:32), so God relented from pouring out His wrath and spared Nineveh (Jonah 3:10).
In America, this would require acknowledging God as our Creator, ending the mass murder of unborn babies and returning to God’s ways regarding sexuality, marriage and the family.
What America (and every other nation) needs is revival! We need another great awakening. But revival will only come when God’s people turn from their worldly ways, openly proclaim their faith in Christ, and live righteously in accordance with His Word. We must be salt and light even if it results in reviling, slander and persecution for our righteousness (Matthew 5:10-16).
Revival must begin with God’s people. The true believers in Christ all need to humble themselves and pray, turning from any wicked or worldly ways, and seek God’s favor. We must be specific in our requests and agree as to what we seek. In addition to praying, we need to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow in the ways of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23). Only then will God heed our prayers for revival.
As previously noted, the primary purpose of this promise was for the forgiveness and restoration of the nation of Israel if they would repent and return to God as a people. However, following it resulted in God sparing the ungodly city of Nineveh.
Christian groups can also follow the instructions of 2 Chron 7:14 in seeking God’s favor and help. This promise can be applied by families, churches, neighborhoods, businesses or any other small group. The principles remain the same.
If a group of people want to seek God’s gracious help and favor, then the entire group must:
- Be genuine Christians, God’s people who have had their sins forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ.
- They must all recognize their unworthiness, confess their sins and put aside any pretense of pride. They must humble themselves; declaring their absolute dependence on God’s mercy and grace.
- They must all agree on one specific request and pray believing that God will answer that request.
- They must repent of any sins in their lives and turn from their wicked ways.
- They must seek God’s favor by loving Him and seeking to please Him with all their hearts, souls, minds and strength.
Any group that does all these things can rest assured that God will listen to their prayer, forgive their sins and graciously bless their group according to His will.
Salvation of non-Christians
2 Chronicles 7:14 is directed toward those who are already God’s people and promises to forgive the sins of His people as a nation, relent of the adversity He brought upon them, and give them peace. The principles of this promise can also be applied to individual believers seeking restoration of fellowship with God by confessing their sins.
While this promise does not specifically address salvation of lost people, the principles still apply. Salvation requires people to:
- Recognize that they are not one of God’s people.
- Humbly admit that they are a sinner who can never be good enough to earn the right to become one of God’s people.
- Confess their sin and helplessness to God in prayer.
- Seek God’s forgiveness of their sins through faith in Jesus Christ whose death payed the penalty for their sins.
- Turn from their sin and become Christlike through the working of the Holy Spirit who indwells them the moment they trust in Jesus Christ.
God always hears humble prayers of genuine repentance and welcomes those who seek Him through faith in His Son. Those who turn from their wicked ways and join God’s family receive forgiveness and fellowship.
If you found this helpful, Please SHARE it
If you liked this, you may also like: