2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Can you believe we are in the second quarter of the year 2021 already? Think about it for a second: the 21st year of the 21st century. Just look at how special we are. Not sure, just ask us we’ll tell you about all of the accomplishments of man in the years leading up to the 21st century.
You’d think we’d be satisfied.
Here is my challenge with even my thinking as a young man. I, like most of my generation, had begun seeing the world through the eyes of what technology could provide and what it would bring me in the future. I went along happily working toward my goal of trying to do what a cartoon character that one of my kids used to watch (Pinky of Pinky and the Brain) I was “doing the same thing I did every day…trying to take over the world.”
The concepts of community and family-first were slowly being educated out of me through my constant reliance on Media. Of course, it was before the term “Social Media” was a real thing for me. In the old days, you know, way back in the ancient BC era (Before Covid), I could walk the streets of any city in the “free world” and never actually see anyone look up from their device. As I think about the trajectory that we’re on as a species, I’m reminded of a 2008 Disney movie, WALL-E, in which the humans did absolutely nothing for themselves up to and including walking. I’m pretty sure that in most neighborhoods folks Wouldn’t be able to tell you the names of more than 5 or 10 of their neighbors.
For some reason, I think we have continued the same thinking/reasoning/actions that the people of the Old Testament warranted Solomon to ask for God to make the promise in today’s passage (see 2 Chronicles 6:12-40). We are compelled to chase prosperity and status just like those that don’t know about the amazing God of the Universe.
God didn’t just make that promise to those of Solomon or Ezra’s time, but to all of us who are called by His name. Here is a spoiler alert, with the completion of the Law, through the finished work of Jesus, we can and should continually call on God to fulfill his promise to heal our lands.
Here's where we need to be careful. We should be reminded that the healing we need to seek is not the physical prosperity that the world seeks, but rather the power to be more effective spiritually as we go about our mission to share the redemptive work of Christ throughout the world.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, “This, too (panic from the pandemic) shall pass.” The part of the plot that hasn’t been written or rather exposed for us to read, how we will praise Him both through it and on the other side of it. He is asking us to live the faith we profess and seek after Him; so that the world will see and hear His people still doing what he commanded us to do: love Him and love others just as we love ourselves.
There was a song we would sing in my childhood Sunday School class. In its refrain is the line “…they will know we are Christians by our love”.
How will people know you in these challenging times?