Monday, September 8, 2014

If My People Will...Then I Will...

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Those of you who know me know that I tend to notice things like syntax — a fancy word for the order and arrangement of words. So when I read verses that are conditional in structure, I look for the stated condition (usually starting with “if”) and the result (usually starting with “then”). The intent of the condition is to show the relation between the two.

One of the more famous conditional clauses in Scripture starts with, “If My people will...then I will...” [2 Chronicles 7:14]. Before I go any further with this, I want to emphasize the importance of not taking the passage out of context, something we are prone to do. We must consider who spoke to whom, and why. So here, God spoke to Solomon after the dedication of the Temple. It concerned how the Israelites were to relate to God, and how God would respond to them: they would humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from wickedness, then God would hear them, forgive their sin and heal their land. 

Over the course of time, Israel did not meet the required condition and so God, true to His word, did not hear them, forgive them or heal their land. 

By way of application, fast forward to Jesus. Thankfully, He came and did what Israel didn’t do — He humbled Himself, prayed, sought the face of God, and suffered for OUR wicked ways. So when we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, He hears us, forgives us, and heals us from sin’s sickness.  

My heart cries out with the songwriter of old:

Oh, how I love Jesus
Oh, how I love Jesus
Oh, how I love Jesus
Because he first loved me

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 

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