2 Chronicles 7:14 If We Repent
2 Chronicles 7:14,
14 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.
7:13–16 This section is almost all unique to 2 Chronicles (cf. 1Ki 9:3), and features the conditions for national forgiveness of Israel’s sins: 1) humility; 2) prayer; 3) longing for God; and 4) repentance.
1 Kings 9:3,
3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
7:14 If God’s people would do three things, God would respond in three ways. The Lord’s people needed to become humble, that is, confess; they needed to pray, or repent; and they needed to turn, or come back to Him. If they did, God would hear, forgive, and heal them.
7:17, 18 if you walk: The Lord challenged Solomon to remain faithful to Him and to the laws of the covenant so that he could enjoy the full benefit of God’s blessing (vv. 17–20).
I will establish the throne: The conditions for God’s blessing on David and his line did not extend to the ongoing existence of that dynasty.
The covenant promises to David were unqualified. The Lord had told David that if his son—that is, Solomon—sinned he would be disciplined, but “my mercy shall not depart from him,” and “your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you” (2 Sam. 7:15, 16; see 1 Chr. 17:13, 14). Solomon might sin and be disciplined, but God’s promises would stand—David’s dynasty would go on.
The setting is at the dedication of David’s temple which Solomon had built. It is God’s Word to Solomon concerning that land in that day. At the dedication Solomon prayed this great prayer which we have seen.
Now He remembers the prayers of His people, and He says to Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name….” To whom is He talking? “My people, which are called by My name.”
That is Israel. God is talking to Solomon about Israel.
Now, if these will humble themselves, if they will pray, if they will seek His face, if they will turn from their wicked ways, then God promises three things to Israel:
He will hear their prayer,
He will forgive them,
He will heal their land.
These were definite conditions that God put down for Israel, and their history demonstrates the accuracy and literalness of these specifics.
Now when you come to the New Testament, you find that John the Baptist says, (Matt. 3:2)… Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
And the Lord Jesus Christ repeated that, calling upon the nation to meet these conditions—so that the promises of God could be fulfilled.
It was a legitimate offer.
In our day, the people of Israel have been scattered throughout the world. They cannot have peace in that land because they have not met those conditions. This is a literal interpretation.
Now there is an application.
This verse has a message for me. I can’t toss it aside just because God did not direct it to me. It contains a formula for this hour.
“My people”—God has a people which we call the church or the body of Christ, those who have accepted the Savior, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).
I guess one could say a lot of us are peculiar people, but this means a people for Himself.
“Shall humble themselves”—the flesh is proud but we are admonished to be humble.
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph. 4:1–2).
We are told in Galatians 5:22–23 that longsuffering and meekness are fruits of the Spirit. Humbleness is commended for the believer today.
“And pray”—certainly many, many times in the New Testament we are admonished to pray. The Lord Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray. The epistles contain numerous commands to pray.
“And seek My face” is also a New Testament admonition:
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:1–2).
“And turn from their wicked ways.” This also applies to us. God has a great deal to say about repentance for believers.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Repentance is for the child of God.
Now how about God’s part:
God had promised that He would hear. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22).
He promised to forgive: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)