Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
In order to understand 2 Chronicles 7:14, its context must be considered. That means one must understand 2 Chronicles 7:13 in order to understand verse 14. Unfortunately, a lot of people quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 without having a clue about the background of the scripture or why Solomon said those words.
Another fallacy about the verse is that some people quote only part of the scripture. The entire verse must be considered before the full meaning is revealed.
The very first thing that should be noticed is that the verse is an "if...then" statement. That simply means that the "then" part is based on the completion of the "if" part. The first part itemizes what should be done if one is to expect the second part to take place.
Second Chronicles 7:14 is just one of many conditional statements in the Bible. Sometimes the "then" is implied instead of being written to introduce the second part. However, the results are stated without the "then."
The first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is what the nation of Israel should do in order for God to carry out His part.
Context of 2 Chronicles 7:14
Solomon dedicated the temple with a prayer. God appeared to him and gave him some reassurances and warnings for His people. The Lord said He had heard Solomon's prayer and had chosen the temple for His place to dwell and for His place to accept sacrifices.
God also told Solomon what He would do to the land in the previous verse if the Israelites did not change their wicked ways. When the Israelites sinned against the Lord, He would shut up heaven so that no rain would come as well as sending locusts to devour the land and sending plagues on the land (2 Chronicles 7:13). However, if they did the four things in the order He commanded them, then He would hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.
It is a supposition whenever you see "if" in writing or hear someone say "if." That doesn't mean something will happen, and it doesn't mean something won't happen. It simply means "suppose it happens."
The word "If" introduces a clause with conditions for results stated after "then" whether the word is listed or implied.
If you clean the house, then I will take you to the mall. (with "then")
If you clean the house, I will take you to the mall. (implied without "then)
The scripture is addressed to the nation of Israel and NOT to an individual. The Israelites are God's chosen people. He had a covenant relationship with them. Therefore, He directly addressed them as "My people."
Sometimes individuals are self-proclaimed God's people. They call themselves God's people without having a relationship with Him. God clears that up by saying, "My people who are called by my name." If you want this scripture to apply to you, then you must make sure you belong to God.
The List of Things to Do
The things to do are included in the longest part of the scripture with four things God commanded the nation to do.
- Humble themselves
- Seek God's face
- Turn from their wicked ways
All four things are action verbs which mean God's people had to do those things in God's prescribed order for Him to do what He promised.
"Then" is the result of the "If" only after the conditions have been met. Keep in mind that the first part of 2 Chronicles 7:14 has four important things that the nation must do in order for God to do the three things He said He would do.
Unless the entire scripture is quoted or taught, a disservice is given to God's complete word. If leaders in the church neglect to teach the entire verse, there will be no anointing or power and the intent of the verse becomes null and void. Therefore, teach and preach ALL of the scripture without skipping any part of it.
"Hear From Heaven"
When all the actions have been carried out, then God says He would hear from heaven and heal Israel's land. In other words, He would deliver national mercy on His people.
After God gave His condition in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He added:
"Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there" (2 Chronicles 7:15-16).
"Forgive Their Sin"
God will forgive their sin before He will give His people what they need. That's why we should pray for forgiveness for our sins before we make requests to God.
The sin of the nation of Israel was that God's people turned their backs on Him. They did so by rebelling against His commandments and began to worship other gods.
"Heal Their Land"
It was not unusual for God's judgment to be on Israel's land from time to time when the people sinned and rejected Him. God's judgment upon the land would come in the form of famine, drought, locusts, or pestilence.
Also, the enemies of God's people were sent by God to destroy the land by burning it or sprinkling it with salt so nothing would grow on it. Destroying the land meant no food for people or animals. Destroying the land was devastating. That's why God promised to "heal the land" at the end of the verse provided His people did what He commanded.
More than likely, it is not your land that needs healing. Whatever does needs healing, that is what God can do for you personally. Feel free to do the four things God commanded. When you get to the part about praying, pray for whatever you need to be healed whether it is a marriage, relationship, finances, career, health, or other personal needs you have. However, know that 2 Chronicles 7:14 was for national healing of the land.