Be The Light

Many of you, like me, have prayed for our nation and our world in recent months. And there is nothing wrong with praying for our land. II Chronicles 7:14 is often cited in these prayers. “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.” Before we jump on this scripture and claim it’s promise, let’s take a step back.

The context of this passage is that the Temple had just been dedicated. God was speaking to Solomon. In essence, God was renewing or reiterating the covenant between Israel and Himself. He was stating the blessing and the curse associated with the Covenant. In claiming this promise, we often fail to read far enough. If we read on the verses 19-22 we see that there is a “But.” Got has attached conditions to the promise. 

“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.  And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’  Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.”

The first takeaway we see from these scriptures is that the promises are conditional. We can’t just pray for God to heal our land and it will happen. God is not a genie in a bottle that we rub to get our prayers answered. We are told to pray, seek God, and cease from our sin.

The other thing that we should note is that this is a promise made to Israel. This was about the covenant between God and Israel. I know that, as Christians, we claim to be God’s people. But this was a collective promise, not one to those outside the Covenant. God may heal our land but he has not promised to do so, even if we repent. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray for our land. Hebrews 2:1-2 tells us “First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. And we certainly need those prayers in the United States today. As I write this, the U S Capitol Building is under lockdown. We need prayers, we need God to intervene in our lives. But God has not promised the political, economic, or cultural salvation of our nation.

We need to take our main focus away from the collective and bring it down to the individual. As believers, God guarantees us personal salvation in Christ. We are told that God will use us to accomplish His purposes. It is our duty to seek God individually, pray, and share the Gospel. Be Christ for someone today. I am reminded of this song you will know if you grew up in a church.

This little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine

Oh, this little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine

This little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, all the time, let it shine.

Be the light.

Published by John Stancil

John Stancil is a retired college professor and CPA living in Lakeland FL. John has always been active in his church, fulfilling a variety of roles. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, usually faith-based. He is married and has two children and three grandchildren. Writing has always been a passion of his and he was widely published in professional accounting journals. He’s frequently written other types of articles primarily about his faith. John is a big sports fan, especially hockey, baseball, and soccer. He enjoys a wide variety of concerts and music as well as live theater. He is an avid reader. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the University of Memphis, an MBA from the University of Georgia, and a BS in Accounting from Mars Hill University. John also loves to travel, either exploring Florida, visiting parts of the USA, or taking a cruise. John grew up in Asheville, NC and has lived in Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and now Florida. Several years ago he traveled to Ghana on a mission trip to distribute 4,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

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