In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God tells Solomon, “…and 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, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” It would be a misapplication to take that passage and apply it to our country as if we were comparing apples to apples. However, there is a principle that where people repent of their sins, they meet with a merciful God.
I think about a passage in Proverbs 14 that applies the principle more broadly. Righteousness will exalt any nation. Sin is a reproach to any nation. What is wrong with our country? Our sin. If God were to have mercy upon us and pour out upon this nation a spirit of humility, prayer, and repentance, it would unquestionably result in blessing that, otherwise, we wouldn’t know. To take the principle of repentance and mercy and apply that to our country is appropriate. To take the passage found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and say, “That’s a word for the United States of America,” is a misunderstanding.
We need to hear these verses first for what they said to the Jews at the time they were written. What was the situation, the context, and the truth? Can we find a principle there that we can transfer to our own lives and learn from? The same applies when we preach. We are not living in the city of Rome. We’re not in the first century. However, when we teach about the book of Romans, we find that its principles are timeless.
The same with Psalm 127:1: “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the LORD protects the city, its watchmen stand guard in vain.” We hear this passage in reference to the church, but Solomon is talking about the Temple. Understanding what those verses apply to in their context is essential. We should seek first to grasp the context to understand the principle and then know how we can apply it to our current situation. The Temple is not the same as the church. But the principle remains: whatever we attempt to do without God’s blessing, instruction, and obedience to Him, is vanity.
We would like to thank Walking In Grace / Richard Caldwell for providing this plan.