The whole verse and nothing but the whole verse

  Jack Hayford continued his instruction in the July section of Moments with Majesty (see last week’s post)  with instruction regarding praying for our country.  2 Chronicles 7:14 has become the Christian’s motto during this pandemic, racial tension and economic chaos.  I, along with many others, have been guilty of spouting this verse and leaning heavily on “heal our land”.  We Christians are very good at remembering the promise of God, without much thought on the conditions placed on those promises.  In 2 Chronicles 7:14, we lean heavily on verse 14b.   

   However, 2 Chronicles 7:14 clearly gives us some requirements before God can heal our land.  He even starts the verse with “IF” meaning it’s not happening unless. . .  “IF MY people, who are called by my name.”   this is not addressed to anyone outside the church.  Christians are the people who need to “humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways.”   God thinks His people are proud and have wicked ways.  YIKES!

    It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to see the answer to our country’s difficulties, Confession of our sins and Repentance.  The Hebrew says we need to bend the knee, search out God and stop being so evil.

 Few of us consider ourselves “evil”.  During my years of teaching in a school where 89% of families did not speak English, I had a precious little guy who constantly used the word “evil” in regards to other students and me.  I was “evil” for giving homework, “evil” for a pop quiz.   The kids were “evil” if they beat him at a game or chose the center he wanted.  It really bothered me.  One morning I spent a half hour on the word “evil”.  We did a lexicon, we looked up the meaning in several texts, discussion groups were formed.  Finally, in triumph, I asked if anyone could name someone who was truly evil.  These were kids from Mexico and it took less than a second for a chorus of “El Chapo” to ring out. Okay.  But, in comparison, I could easily rest on my laurels, for I am not evil like El Chapo. 

    And that’s what happens.  We start to compare our evil to another’s evil and we become proud.  That pride leads to a multitude of sins that hinder our power in prayer.  That’s what has happened to our country, to our churches. We are not evil like ________  fill in the blank. 

 So today, I’m praying though the references from Hayford’s book and thinkin’ that I am need of repentance.

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