July 15: Heal Our Land
July 15, 2016
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
by Josh Moody Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 140, Luke 10:25-37, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10 2 Chronicles 6-7: While the LORD has said he would “dwell in thick darkness” (6:1)—that is, not be accessible to the naked human eye for the holiness and gloriousness in which he resides—yet through the temple (and its ultimate fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ), God makes his presence known in this visible world. This is a cause of great rejoicing and blessing, and so Solomon turns and blesses the people (6:3-11). The blessing which he gives them, though, is the blessing of God himself: compare verse 3 with verse 4. The ultimate blessing that anyone can experience is the blessing of knowing God. Do you have that blessing? Are you making the most of the extraordinary privilege of knowing God? In this building of the temple, all these promises of God are being fulfilled (6:10). Solomon then prays (6:12-42)—and he prays that God’s word would “be confirmed” (6:17). When we pray, it is right for us to speak back to God the word that God has spoken to us, to take to the inner sanctum of the holy presence of God the actual word of promise that God has spoken, and let that promise be the foundation for our faith so that we might ask God confidently, without a double mind, that which he has already promised to give to us if we believe. The particular prayer, the focus of all the words that Solomon prays, is regarding God listening to his people when they repent of their sins. Solomon knows that we all sin: “for there is no one who does not sin” (6:36). So what is the remedy for our rebellion against God himself and against his holy law? Where is there an opportunity for receiving forgiveness? Solomon appeals to the temple and asks God to listen to his people when they repent of their sin. God himself replies in the famous words of 2 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.Such a great promise gives voice to the repeated refrain of the singing throughout these chapters:
For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. (7:3, 6; cf. 5:13; 1 Chr. 16:34)All ultimately fulfilled in Christ—himself the temple of access to God through faith in Christ—we have great reason to proclaim God’s steadfast love, and also to turn from our wicked ways, pray and seek his face, and ask God to hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land (7:14). That promise is for God’s people. It does not extend to any particular nation-state. And yet, as God’s people, we may plead for our nation and country as well, particularly that it would be a place where God’s blessing would reside so that the gospel might flourish (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Would you pray today, repenting of your sin, your church’s sin, the sin of your country, asking God to heal our land? To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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