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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
How often have you heard this verse quoted? It is mentioned in many sermons on revival. It is frequently referenced in religiously and conservatively oriented patriotic rallies. It is even debated by some as to whether or not it should even be used by the church, since it was originally spoken in reference to the land inhabited by Abraham’s descendants. I personally believe it is a verse worth our considering. Here are four thoughts:
- This verse is specifically written to Israel and their promised land.
I absolutely get this and believe it to be true. God was speaking specifically to His chosen people about the land He had sovereignly given to them. Should a time come when they had allowed sin and its consequences to rob them of the blessings of God, they could humble themselves and seek his face and turn from their sin and he would hear and forgive and heal.
- This verse reveals the power of God to heal, to forgive, and to answer prayer.
He is well able to do so because His power is both abundant and limitless. Israel had Almighty God and so do those of us who have believed on His Son Jesus Christ.
- The main truths it contains are often repeated throughout Scripture.
James teaches that when we humble ourselves, it places us under His mighty hand and it allows God to abundantly bestow His grace in our lives (James 4). Many times the Scriptures point to the truth that when we seek God, He absolutely responds to our doing so (1 Chronicles 28:9/Isaiah 55:6/Matthew 7:7/Luke 11:9) All of us would certainly agree that when we turn from wickedness in confession and repentance, God most definitely will forgive and cleanse us from our sin (Proverbs 28:13/1 John 1:8-10). These are blessed truths indeed. While there is no promise that God will “heal America” in these verses, the rest of the passage is certainly true for every believer!
- These truths should, at the very least, encourage all of us to humbly and yet boldly seek God.
We certainly can pray BIG prayers. We can seek God for revival in our own lives and homes and churches. We can even seek God on behalf of our “land” since it is “not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). So, pray, my friends. Pray fervently. Pray specifically. Pray in unity with other believers. Pray in your home and in your closet. Pray in your services. Pray believing that Almighty God will hear and forgive and show His strength and power.
I am. I hope you will join me.
Thanks for reading.
Your sincere friend,