II Chronicles 7:14 “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.”
What a tremendous promise from our wonderful Saviour regarding revival. We have claimed, preached, taught, and drilled this verse into the heart of God’s people tirelessly in an endeavor to stir them to a heart of revival. As I have pondered revival and the reality that we need revival in our homes, churches, and nation I lean much on this verse and its promise. However, as I have studied this verse and the chapter and verses that precede it I find an interesting fact. The recipe and terms for revival were not outlined by God. God did not come to us with the terms mentioned in II Chronicles 7:14. This verse is God’s response to terms that were outlined by a man (Solomon). He set the terms with God, and God, agreeing to the terms gave us II Chronicles 7:14 and the verses surrounding it as a response and promise.
In The sixth chapter of II Chronicles Solomon outlines in a very articulate way the terms for which he desires God to deal with His people Israel. These terms are found in Solomon’s prayer of dedication in II Chronicles 6:12-42. We see His:
1. Position in Prayer – verses v. 12-13
2. Petition in Prayer – verses v. 14-42
3. Preeminence of God in Prayer – v. 14
4. Promises of God in Prayer – v. 15
5. Plea in Prayer – v. 19
6. Purpose of his Prayer – v. 20-21
As you read these verses you begin to see the passion of Solomon and his realization that God’s blessings and works in Israel are based upon Israel’s actions and obedience to God. Solomon asserts in verses 20 and 21, “That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.” Solomon is imploring the mercy and forgiveness of God if they meet certain obligations on their part. It goes something like this; if we as your people sin…and take action to get right…will you hear?
V. 22-23 “If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.”
V. 24-25 “And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.”
V. 26-27 “When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.”
V. 28-30, 31 “If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)” Verse 31 “That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.”
V. 32- 33 “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.”
V. 34-35 “If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.”
V. 36-39 “If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.”
In each of these verses you see where Solomon recognizes that God's people will Sin. However, when they sin and repent he asks God to grant forgiveness and healing in the Land. God accepts Solomon's terms the he requested.
God validates the supplication of Solomon by filling the House of God with his glory! II Chronicles 7:1-2 “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.”
He appears to Solomon and gives the promise of or our text. II Chronicles 7:12-15 “And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 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. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.”
Revival is not a problem with God! God agreed with Solomon that if man met the criteria and standard that he had set for himself God would indeed send revival. God appreciated the fact that man would motivate himself to confess and repent of their sin once the realization of sin was manifested. God loves to send revival! The problem lies in the fact that we as God’s people are no longer willing to meet the criteria or standard that we set up with God. We are like Israel and their endless departure from the Lord and right, but we want what he has to offer contrary to the terms that were established. God accepted the terms of man because the terms were based upon righteousness and obedience to him. The failure was not God’s.
In fact God dealt with Israel in Micah 6:1-8 on their failure. Micah 6:2-3 “Hear ye, O mountains, the LORD'S controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth: for the LORD hath a controversy with his people, and he will plead with Israel. O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me.” God looked at a rebellious people and asserted his controversy with them. He brought them to a place of remembrance in verses 4-5. He expressed his displeasure with their sacrifices in verse 7. His desire was that His people meet their obligation to Him that they established centuries before. Verse 8 says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Revival in not a difficult truth to understand “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.”
By Pastor Rob Ellard