Posts Tagged ‘2 Chronicles 7:14’

If my people will. . . then I will.. .

May 4, 2017

2 Chronicles 7--14

The entry for the Verse of the Day for May 4, 2017, the National Day of Prayer, was posted a year ago and is re-posted here today.

2 Chronicles 7:14

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.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse:

The ways of God: The ways of man

October 5, 2016

Isaiah 55--7-8

The Verse of the Day for October 5, 2016 is found in Isaiah 55:5-6, but to round out the context, verses 7-9 are added:

Isaiah 55:5-9 (MSG)

Seek God while he’s here to be found,
pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness.

8-11 “I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.  7 Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.  8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

These verses point out the distinction between the thoughts and ways of God and the thoughts and ways of people. In previous blog entries, I discuss the term “way” which in the Old Testament is translated from the Hebrew word derek, meaning “way, road, path, distance, journey, manner.” It is also referred to as direction, manner, habit, way of life, a course of life or mode of action, and a lifestyle. We speak of the expression “the ways of God” and “the ways of man.”

There is a notable contrast between the “ways of God” and the “ways of man.” 2 Samuel 22:31 and Psalm 18:30 provide the same rendering in the New King Version:

As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Jeremiah 10:23 provides this reminder:

O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.

The Prophet Isaiah also makes known:  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way;

The difference is striking, indeed. The ways of God are righteous altogether; whereas the way of man are wicked and unrighteous.

Another verse from the Old Testament also points out  one of God’s promises to His people:

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT):

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.

The Verse of the Day from Isaiah 55 encourages the people of God to turn from their own unrighteous ways and follow the ways of God who is rich in mercy and who will abundantly pardon.

In one of a series of posts on the will of God, I spoke of the will of God as path that believers should ever seek to follow. To follow the will of God is to decide which path we are going to take. Many times it is easier to follow our own path and seek our own way rather than God’s way or God’s will. Like the Psalmist, we should choose to follow the path of truth, and when we choose to follow that path, we take comfort in knowing that as for God, His way is perfect. The following poem also provides assurance as to where the path that is the will of God will take us.

 The Will of God

Author: Unknown
The will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

We conclude with musical summary of the Verse of the Day:  Indeed, His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways, as this Christian Worship and Scripture Song from Isaiah 55:6-9 reminds us:

If my people will. . . then will I

May 4, 2016

2 Chronicles 7--14

The Verse of the Day for May 4, 2016, the day before the National Day of Prayer, comes from 2 Chronicles 7:14

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.

This verse has been invoked countless times in conjunction with corporate prayer gatherings, and, indeed, has been the theme verse of the National Day of Prayer and other similar occasions.

While this verse often brings to mind people within a particular geographic location, the actual emphasis is on “my people” who could be the people of God in any place across the globe, wherever two or three or more are gathered. Certainly, this is the will of God for the people of God from around the world.

IF

2 Chronicles 7:14 is in reality an “if . . . then” conditional sentence which opens with a conditional clause, followed by a main clause that expresses the results from meeting the conditions set forth. God specifically sets the conditions for “His” people, those who call upon His name and those whom He designates as belonging to Him, those called by His name. If these individuals will perform certain actions, then God will respond accordingly. He sets the conditions with a series of verbs, each of which is connected to the others by “and.” All of these actions must be performed as part of the conditions:

. . . humble themselves

Followers of God should first of all “humble themselves.” This condition is reinforced with these exhortations

James 4:10 (NLT)

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.

and pray

In addition, believers should also “pray.”

Again, throughout the scriptures God’s people are exhorted to pray:

As the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers, “Men ought always to pray and not to faint,” even as Paul encouraged believers to “Pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” We are also reminded in Philippians 4:6 (NLT):

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

and seek my face

To the three previous conditions, His people are to “seek His face.” Like David, we are to yearn to be in God’s presence:

Psalm 27:8 (AMP):

When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”

and turn from their wicked ways

The final condition that must be met is to “turn from your wicked ways.” God expresses His desire for His people:

Ezekiel 18:23 (NLT):

“Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.

Isaiah 55:7 also makes known this:

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

If these four conditions are fulfilled on our part, God will do His part, expressed with three distinct actions:

THEN

I will hear from heaven

God will hear from heaven, the place where the ears of God are open. The Verse of the Day is part of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple, where he goes on to say:

2 Chronicles 6:21

21 May you hear the humble and earnest requests from me and your people Israel when we pray toward this place. Yes, hear us from heaven where you live, and when you hear, forgive.

We are also reminded that

1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

and forgive their sins

In 1 John 1:9 we find another conditional sentence that relates to the results received: that God forgives our sins if we confess them:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Psalm 103:3 reiterates this message, in that God “forgives all your iniquities and heals all your diseases.”

Ezekiel 6:33 also proclaims God’s ultimate desire to forgive Israel’s iniquities and restore their land

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.

and heal their land

This expression of God’s will is revealed in this portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple in 2 Chronicles 6:24-25

If Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy,
because they have sinned against You,
and they return to You and praise Your name,
and they pray and plead for mercy
before You in this temple,
25 may You hear in heaven
and forgive the sin of Your people Israel.:
May You restore them to the land
You gave them and their ancestors.

Isaiah 49:8 (AMP) reveals also God’s desire to bless the land of Israel:
Amplified Bible

This is what the Lord says, “In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep watch over You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land [from its present state of ruin] and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands,

The celebrated verse associated with corporate prayer reminds us once more that God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of conditions which must be met before God fulfills His terms of the agreement. God, however, is a respecter of conditions. Many times the terms of condition are expressed by the use of “if.” Throughout the Bible we find that God has set up “If . . . then” statements” that reveal promises that He will fulfill if we do our part.

We now close with a musical rendering of this familiar verse: