Today’s Bible Study is: “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.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
This is a difficult biblical verse to understand on several levels. The first is defining who is speaking. The second is turning from wicked ways and, finally, what will be done to heal the land? Often Old Testament verses are more difficult to understand and appreciate than those of the New Testament.
MacArthur’s Bible Commentary helps us to understand this and to put it into modern day perspective by explaining that unlike ancient Israel, America is not a covenant nation. God has made no promise to our physical ancestors that guarantee our national status. If Israel had to fulfill the conditions for divine blessing, even though God had covenanted with them as His chosen people, America certainly has no inviolable claim on the blessing of God. As long as unbelief and disobedience to the Word o God color the soul of our nation, we cannot expect the blessing of God. Israel didn’t get it in her unbelief.
But for those of us who are Christians, the covenant blessings do apply. “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This quotation is found in Galatians 3:29. All the promises of salvation, mercy, forgiveness of sins, and spiritual prosperity are ours to claim as long as we remain faithful to God.
That is why the spiritual state of the churches in our nation is the key to the blessing of the nation as a whole. If God is going to bless America, it will not be for the sake of the nation itself. He blesses the nation, and has always done so, for the sake of his people. If we who are called by His name are not fulfilling the conditions for divine blessing, there is no hope whatsoever for the rest of the nation.
On the other hand, if the church is fit to receive God’s blessing, the whole nation will be the beneficiary of that, because the Word of God will be proclaimed with power, God will add to His church, and spiritual blessings of all kinds will result. And those are the truest blessings of all.
Lord, help us to beneficiaries of God’s blessing through our belief and our love of God. O gracious father, forgive us our weaknesses and strengthen our faith that we may stand more firmly, believe more strongly, and understand your will more clearly. Help us, O God, to receive spiritual blessings, those which are the greatest blessings of all. Amen.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.
Columbia Prayer Chain
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Wednesday, July 13
- Joy Cantrell in Shandon
- John in Forest Acres
- Rootie Pope in Leesville
- Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley
- Jackie Rhodes in lower Richland
- Sally and Leslie in Blythewood
- Fred and Gail
- The family of Crystal Lee Simpson Hall
- The family of Darin “Ross” Myers
- The family of Dorothy “Dot” Reese
- April J.
- Darin and Toya
- Our troops in Afghanistan
A discussion of today’s bible verse is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations of scripture passages and, the more we share, the more we learn.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lanein Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at 1100 Sumter StreetIn Columbia.
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