Saturday, June 14, 2008

If My People Pray

June 14: 2 Chronicles 6-7 & Psalm 136

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’

19 “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, 20 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. 21 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?’ 22 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.’”
2 Chronicles 7:12-22

If My People Pray

The house of the Lord was done! After seven years the temple of God stood proudly before the people. After Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord, and prayed that great prayer recorded in 2 Chronicles 6, fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

1 As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house.
2 Chronicles 7:1-2

God then came to Solomon in a dream with promises of blessing for obedience to Him,

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.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Where is your heart? Where is your focus? 2 Chronicles 7:14 applies just as much to us today as it did to the people in the days of King Solomon.

With the blessings for obedience, however, also comes curses for disobedience.

19 “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, 20 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.

We like the blessings, do we not? But, what of the curses? Just as the blessings apply to us today, so do the curses! Now that is certainly not a politically correct statement, is it?

There is no gray area; there is no middle ground. Think about where you are in your spiritual life; we love to pretend there is such a creature as a carnal Christian--they are saved but they have not dedicated their life to Christ. True believers have a heart relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as God did not present a middle ground to Solomon in his dream, so there is no middle ground today.

What can we do? God said, "If my people pray!" We must humble ourselves before the Lord our God, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. Then, God will forgive our sins and heal our land. Go to Christ, humble yourself before Him, seek His face, and pray!

God bless you,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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