2 Chronicles 7:12-22 Trusting God in Obedience
2 Chronicles 7:12-22 Trusting God in Obedience is about trusting God in faith that is tied to obedience. The promise in (7:14) is for the people.
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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
However, the issue of obedience is always personal. Let me show you something in this verse that is amazing. Solomon‘s future is dependent upon his obedience to God. God in essence shares with Solomon two possible futures:
FUTURE #1 (The Easy Road) – A king who sits on the throne forever. (7:17-18)
As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, “You shall not fail to have a man as ruler in Israel.’
(2 Chronicles 7:17-18 NKJV)
FUTURE #2 (The Hard Road) – Temple is destroyed. (7:19-22)
“But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, “Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ Then they will answer, “Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.”‘
(2 Chronicles 7:19-22 NKJV)
I could go into how God could see these possibilities. How could God say it could happen one way or the other? We may be able to watch this phenomenon on television. It would be like watching the movie Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Day is a movie about a man who repeats the same day over and over until he gets everything right. Each action that he makes changes something in his timeline. Each action (or cause) has an effect. The effect occurs to the people surrounding him.
But the fact is, we don’t know what will happen. Our lives are not in a repeat mode. God, however, knows what will happen. He knows all the „possibles“ and He knows the „impossibles“ in our lives. Because God knows the possibles, He asks for obedience from us. Because God knows the possibles become true when we obey. The impossibles in our lives, God makes possible by direct intervention.
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
(Mark 10:27 NKJV)
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
(Luke 18:27 NKJV)
The impossible becomes possible with God’s help. The possible becomes reality when we obey God. So you can pray all you want. But if you don’t obey God, then the impossible (which becomes possible because you prayed), won’t become reality until you obey.
God shows Solomon the possibilities. God shows this in a two-step process. Last week, we learned that the impossibles in our lives become possibles in faith. This week we learn that the possibles in life happen with we obey God.
Let’s look first at two promises in these verses.
PEOPLE PROMISE (7:12-14)
This promise is conditional. The promise for the people is only effective when the people come together and pray and repent. This means that God makes promises about His church that are conditional on the actions of the people together.
Let me say it in a simple way. Some things that God wants to do in our church, He will only do when we come together, pray and repent. What are some promises that we receive as a church:
These promises are listed in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15.
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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.
(2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NKJV)
1. God will listen to and answer our prayers.
2. God will forgive our sins.
3. God will heal our land.
This implies that there are needs for the church. God wants to hear these needs. This means that the church needs to take a time and pray for the needs of the church. Now, I am not talking about house groups. I am not talking about the prayer points on our bulletin. I am not even talking about the prayer time before the service. I am talking about taking time to pray for the needs of the church. We need to do this on a regular basis. At the suggestion of the men’s ministry, we will begin to do just that – once a month on Wednesday nights. On the last Wednesday night of the month, we will have our IBC Bremen church-wide prayer night. We will meet in the Billard’s Cafe and we will pray. I will teach for five minutes and then we pray. We will organize it with some worship, and then some time to pray for the needs of the church. We will pray in a manner that focuses on the needs of the church. I encourage you to join us – once a month – the last Wednesday of the month here for prayer.
This implies that God will forgive our sins and He will heal our land. What does God mean by that? I think He means that He will heal families. Yes, I believe there is physical healing implied, but I think the focus is on the manner of marriages in the church. God is saying that He wants to bring peace to families. He wants to heal marriages. He wants to bring children closer to their parents and parents closer to their children. The church family is made up of physical families. As a result, the church can only be as healthy as the families that make up the church. If there are fights, strikes, and struggles in the families, then it will affect the church. God wants families that stay together, love each other and help one another.
While God is working in the church, He is working in the individuals in the church. This leads us to the second promise, the personal promise. God shared a promise for the people in the church, and now He turns to the leaders of the church. In this case, Solomon.
PERSONAL PROMISE (7:17-22)
As we talked about earlier, God gave Solomon two possible futures. These futures were dependent upon Solomon’s obedience. Solomon was placed at a spiritual fork in the road. If Solomon obeyed, there was a positive promise which said that there would be a leader in the nation of Israel from His family forever. This positive promise was the easy road for him to take.
If Solomon did not obey, then there would be another future in store for him and His people. This hard road ends in a negative promise. This points to the fact that the personal promise is conditional on obedience and growth. When it comes to God and His promises, the easy road in our spiritual life comes when we obey Him.
If Solomon does not grow closer to God, and if he does not obey God, the consequences affect him, his family, and his nation. The same would be true for each of us. If we do not obey God, then God will allow a future to occur that affects ourselves, our families, and our church.
If however, we obey God, then we see a bright future ahead of us. There is a promise for obedience.
But notice that these promises occur when the conditions are met at the same time. You must be growing and becoming obedient on a personal level, while you lead the people. The people must pray and change. Notice that the leader, the one with a personal promise, has a higher benefit. Yet he also has a higher responsibility and standard of behavior.
So our church needs to be praying as a people. But there is also an expectation for you and I who lead. (You can lead if you are in a family. If you are the father or the mother, you are leading a family.) When you lead others, you have the personal promise. God has personal promises out there for you that are only effective when you are obedient to God.