This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of June 30, 2013. This message deals with the common misunderstanding of 2 Chronicles 7:14, due to it being used in an isolated, out of context manner. This post contains an audio recording of my sermon, plus the sermon notes. The sermon notes are not a full transcript of the sermon.
AUDIO DOWNLOAD LINK:
2 Chronicles 7:14
This has become a very common verse in America, which is used as a call for national repentance for national healing.
While we need national repentance, there are many problems with that particular usage of this verse.
We need to pray for our nation, but we need to be sure we are praying according to Scripture, not against it.
The first thing we need to do is put this verse in its proper context.
In 2 Chronicles chapter six, Solomon makes an earnest plea to God on behalf of Israel.
2 Chronicles 6:17-42
In chapter seven, we see God’s answer to Solomon’s prayer.
2 Chronicles 7:12-22
First, notice that Solomon’s prayer was specifically for Israel, and God’s response was specifically for Israel. The phrase “my people” refers to a group of people (a nation), not to individuals.
This is evidenced not only by the context, but by the use of the Hebrew word “am,” which itself, refers to a group of people in its most common usage.
On this note, there are some important points to be made.
There is only one nation that ever has been or ever will be called by God’s name, and that is Israel.
Israel is the only nation to ever have a covenant relationship with God; therefore, that rules out any application to America.
Second, Israel has a land grant, given by God; therefore they have a “land” to heal. In contrast, the church has no land grant, and no national identity, therefore we have no “land” to heal.
Once again, this rules out both the church and America as recipients of this promise. The end result is that any application of this verse to America is unwarranted, and unsupported by Scripture.
Does this mean that America is a hopeless case? Yes and no, let me explain.
Let’s take a look at what we know from Scripture.
Some nations will survive the tribulation, and for all we know, America could be one of them.
However, at the end of the tribulation, some nations will rise against Israel. We see this in Ezekiel chapters 38-39.
Apparently, America will not be one of those nations.
Even so, It is apparent that Israel will stand alone, she will have no earthly allies, not even America.
By the end of the tribulation, all of the nations have earned God’s wrath, and will be judged.
This will include America, if it is still around. In the end, only one nation on earth will be restored, and that will be Israel.
These nations will obviously exist in some form during the millennium, because Christ will rule them with a rod of Iron.
Plus, the nations will be deceived by satan and gathered for battle one last time, at the conclusion of the millennium.
The bottom line is, America is headed toward judgment. It will happen at some point.
There will be no redemption or ‘‘restoration” of the United States.
Nothing permanent, anyway.
Having said that, we don’t know God’s timetable.
Because of that, we don’t know what will happen in the meantime.
It’s certainly possible that there may be some times of prosperity ahead, in fact, we should pray for, vote for and work toward that.
God can certainly choose to bless us as a nation at any time before judgment falls, but we need to understand that such blessings, if they occur, are only temporary.
We need to understand that there will be no healing as referred to in our text, just temporary relief, at best.
In fact, there is no mention of anything resembling the United States in the end times prophecies.
This would lead me to conclude that the United States, at best, will be a minor player on the world stage.
So, while we can’t use 2 Chronicles 7:14 as a promise for America, we should still pray.
We can pray for revival in the church, so that more people will be spared the tribulation and added to God’s kingdom.
We should pray for our leaders so that we may have peace during our time here.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
We definitely need to be in prayer, but 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not for America, and we will not see it fulfilled in America.
The only way to make 2 Chronicles 7:14 apply to America, would be to accept a replacement type theology, in which either America or the church are viewed as the modern day Israel.
The problems with that type of careless and non-literal Bible interpretation are innumerable.
On the other hand, we see in this verse a beautiful picture of repentance and restoration.
While 2 Chronicles 7:14 is not really meant for personal application either, it does paint a beautiful picture.
One only needs to look to 1 John 1:9 to see a similar promise to us.
1 John 1:9
What a wonderful God we serve!
Blessed is the nation whose Lord is God.