“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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 we find a promise that God has made to His people. This promise is conditional for it demands a response before it can be fulfilled. As believers we have a choice to make, to obey God and experience revival or continue going our own way.
A call to repentance
The promise found in our text is, as with the entirety of Scripture, directed to God’s own people, therefore the call to repentance is for them too. It is a call to turn from our wicked ways. The Lord is not calling the world or our nation to repentance, but those who have already been regenerated or born of His Spirit. It is our barren hearts that need to be broken up before God will send us revival, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hosea 10:12).
It is very easy for us to point the finger at the politician or so-called religious leadership in our land. We could blame the rampant ungodliness on the media, false religions and perverts. The fact is that the decline of morality in our nation is largely due to individual Christians and churches compromising with the world and refusing to abide by God’s Holy Word. “Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make Thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at Thy presence. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways: behold, Thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, Thou art our father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech Thee, we are all Thy people” (Isaiah 64:1-9).
Over the years, as the church has spiritually declined, unrighteousness has filled the void. The church has awakened from its slumber only to find that the giants of worldliness, homosexuality and Islam have trampled down everything that is holy. We live in an age when the Lord Jesus Christ is openly blasphemed and the Bible is ridiculed. Our religious freedoms are being stripped from us, and we call on lawyers to assist us when we ought to be calling on the Lord.
For far too long the church has remained silent while slowly but surely sin has done its worst. While the church dozed our nation has crept closer to judgement and damnation. Why did we not see this coming? Did we not recognise the signs? Is it because we did not give heed to the many warnings found in the word of the Lord? “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17).
God will hold us accountable for the choice we make today. Are we willing to receive the blessings of the wonderful promise found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 by humbly coming before God with true repentance in our hearts? We as individuals, families, and as a church are in great need of a spiritual revival. The prayer of the prophet should be ours too, “O LORD, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).
The remedy for the sin-sickness that is destroying our nation will be applied as soon as God’s people get right with Him. How can we call our nation to righteousness if we will not serve and follow the Lord ourselves? If we do seek His face then we will experience abundant life to its fullest extent and reap a harvest of souls, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5).