2 Chronicles 7:14
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Maybe this is a familiar verse for you like it is for me. I was first introduced to 2 Chronicles 7:14 when I was a National Day of Prayer coordinator for our Chapel in 2006. I’ve always seen it as a call to prayer for the people on behalf of our nation. But in studying the original context of this verse I have discovered it’s richness extends beyond a call to prayer.
These words of the Lord were spoken to King Solomon at the completion of building the Temple in Jerusalem. The Lord appeared to him at night following fourteen days of celebration of the Lord filling the Temple with his glory and the Festival of Feast of Tabernacles with the people of Israel. The people all went home joyful and glad. While Solomon’s experience continued with a visit from the Lord. God chose to personally tell him that he heard his prayer of dedication (that is recorded in 2 Chronicles 6:14-42 hover over this passage location to read it). Take a moment to read the prayer. It is fascinating. If you read the complete response, 2 Chronicles 7:12-22, you will recognize it as though Father God is continuing his conversation with Solomon. He responds to him with the same phrases that Solomon used in his prayer. I love it. It is another sweet example of how relational and intentional the Lord is with his people. We should find hope in this verse for many reasons.
- It is reassurance that the Lord listens and responds to his people.
- The Lord himself gave guidance for how to approach him:
- in prayer
- by seeking his face
- by turning from our wicked ways
- The Lord is in heaven ready:
- to hear our humble prayer
- to respond with forgiveness
- to respond with healing
Don’t we have such an amazing Father in heaven! He is loving and holy. We are to approach him in reverent humility. The Lord is fully aware of our inability to live holy as he is without his righteousness covering our sin (Romans 3:21-31). Solomon’s father, King David, knew this from personal experience and he certainly passed down to his son his understanding of God’s heart as David expressed it in Psalm 51:16-17. David approached the Lord with a sacrifice of his “broken and contrite heart”, rather than one for the altar, because he knew the Lord delighted in a heart submitted to him more than a sacrifice of grain or burnt offering, as prescribed in the Law of the Old Testament. Both of these kings experienced God the Father in a very unique, personal, relationship because they were chosen by him to rule his people and they responded to the Lord’s heart with reverence. Before the new covenant, consummated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, only a few chosen people were able to experience God the Father in a personal relationship (2 Corinthians 3:1-18). Now, under the new covenant, we are called the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The quality and closeness of our relationship with the Lord is a matter of our heart condition.
How would you describe your heart relationship with the Lord?
I encourage each of us to take time this week to humble ourselves before the Lord in an attitude of prayer as we seek his face. When we do this we are better prepared to respond to his prompts to turn from any wickedness that has crept in-between us. When we seek the heart of the Lord we can be fully assured that he will hear us from heaven and respond in love with forgiveness and healing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this new way to look at our treasure verse this week.
Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always
Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”