Thursday, July 22, 2010

Word Study: Healing our Land

Second Chronicles 7:14: "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." (ESV)

Let's set the context of this verse: Solomon had finished building the Temple. The Israelites spent 23 days celebrating, feasting, observing the Day of Atonement and the Feast of the Tabernacles to dedicate the temple to Lord. Later, the Lord spoke to Solomon. He told Solomon He had chosen and consecrated the Temple as a "house of sacrifice" and that He would answer the prayers of His people when said in this holy place.

Though these words were spoken thousands of years ago, I believe they still apply today. When I observe our country as a whole, I'm saddened. Vitriol, anger, selfishness, and pride seem to override acts of love, patience, selflessness, and humility. Some degrade themselves by appearing on reality shows requiring them to be humiliated for fame. Others manipulate situations for their own gain. While still others burst into anger when they feel they've been wronged somehow.

I'm just as guilty as the next person. I quickly lose my temper when someone cuts me off in traffic (which is often). I'm sometimes drawn into the spectacle (or is it debacle?) of reality tv. And yes, I'm still guilty of wasting time.

The scary thing is how these shifts in attitudes seemed to have spread. I know greed and pride and other sins have been around since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden. It just seems to be more intense now. It's like a black fog spreading quickly across the land. Maybe it's because we're not spending our days worshipping the Father.

Which leads me to another point that struck me while reading not only this verse, but the verses prior to it. The Israelites spent 23 days dedicating the Temple. Twenty-three days. That's just over three weeks. I am not aware of anything in this day and age where we as Christians are gathered together worshipping and celebrating the Lord for 23 days. Maybe that's where we have it wrong. I mean, yes, we may do something like that on our own as individuals, but I mean collectively (I know people observe Lent, but not every denomination focuses on the fasting and self-reflection. If you know of anything else, I would like to hear about it).

We can't change the world. Only God can. We can be the salt He has asked us to be though. We can live our lives worshipping Him and showing love and patience at all times. We can come together and pray for our country. There is hope when we humble ourselves before the Lord, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. He will hear us and He will heal our land.

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