March 02, 2010

Blessings for obedience


he “Cuture Warriors” often use 2 Chronicles 7:14 to encourage folks to turn to God (See callout box). Many conservative Evangelicals who reject the culture war’s methodology correctly point out that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was meant for the national theocracy of Old Testament Israel.

2 Chronicles 7:14

“If my people who are called by my name 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.”

When I first began to hear this back and forth debate between two groups of well-meaning Christians I was left with a helpless feeling. I didn’t know what we as a nation should do or what I as an American citizen should do to contribute to the prosperity of our nation.

Today I read a passage from Leviticus 26 that brought this discussion to mind. I’ll share the passage from Leviticus in a bit, but first allow me to explain my resolution of the debate about 2 Chronicles.

God is immutable—unchanging. God’s character demands certain things from all people and showers blessings on all people—both the believer and the unbeliever. Certainly God chooses to bless his chosen people through the ages in special ways and certain individuals and groups of God’s people are called to special purposes and special functions. But God’s overarching demands and blessings apply to all people.

This is the basis of moral laws in Judeo-Christian nations such as ours. Freedom of religion is a cherished right in our nation, but we still legislate morality and much of our moral laws are based on the Judeo-Christian scriptures.

This concept forms the foundation of my thought regarding the 2 Chronicles passage. God covenanted with ancient Israel that if they would “humble themselves, and pray and seek [his] face and turn from their wicked ways” that he would hear them and forgive them and heal their land. God’s character and immutable nature prompts me to believe that these same responses from people in our nation will produce a similar effect from God.

With that in mind, here’s what I read today:

Leviticus 26:3-7
“If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last to the time of the grape harvest, and the grape harvest shall last to the time for sowing. And you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. And I will remove harmful beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.

Encouraging words, indeed.


No comments:

Post a Comment

No personal attacks. No profanity.

Please keep your comments in good taste. Leave a name so we know who you are. Your comments are welcome, but anonymous flames and sacrilege will be deleted.