By Dr. Ed Hindson
Q. Does 2 Chronicles 7:14 apply to us today, and in particular to America, since this promise was originally given to the people of Israel?
A. This verse was part of the Lord’s vision to Solomon at the time of the dedication of the first Jewish Temple. It reads:
“If my people, who 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).In this verse’s specific context, of course, it applies primarily to Israel. However, we must remember also the Apostle Paul’s words that:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).2 Chronicles 7:14 was directed first and foremost to Israel as the covenant people of God whose land was blessed by God. The general principle, however, applies to all those living in all lands who name the name of God – and in our dispensation, that applies to Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere. It must be taken along with other Scriptures pertaining to a nation’s relationship with God. For example, Psalm 33:12 says,
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”Its opposite may be found in Psalm 9:17 which says,
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”Then there are the many verses in the Bible, too numerous to mention, that speak of God’s mercy in view of the repentance of an individual or a nation. Nineveh’s repentance after the preaching of Jonah is a case in point.
Accordingly, the fact that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was originally given to Israel should not stop us from a national repentance and turning back to God. Throughout the Bible, we see God’s merciful nature upon nations that do so, and His wrath and judgment on those that do not. Knowing these things about the attributes of God should naturally compel us individually and collectively to seek His mercy before it is too late.