Last night I heard a conservative politician that I admire for her spunk and willingness to tell it like is cite a Scripture passage. Here it is:
…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. (2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)
Both sides of the aisle misuse Scripture but this time it comes from a fellow evangelical whom I admire. But enough is enough. Step using this verse to imply something it does not say!
The verse is misapplied to the United States of America. There I said it. Bottom line. Sorry, not for the red, white and blue. The application is wrong because the meaning of the passage is wrong. My non-evangelical readers at this point, if they are still reading are probably thinking who cares and the evangelicals who like this verse applied to the USA are probably up in arms and think I’m making much ado about nothing. Sorry, 2 Tim 2:15 indicates that we should work hard to get it right and that means to me that even an application that means well is a bad application. Call me picky. I don’t care.
The fact is I used to write another blog that was more connected with my counseling ministry and I had to deal with this passage in the context of the 2008 and 2010 elections.
So, here are the two files in case anyone is interested in my take on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Bottom line and I hate to say this but I agree with a secular historian who said that we Americans by-and-large are lousy historians.
The Fallacy of 2 Chron 7_14_p2
Here’s a little context for this widely misused verse.
Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished. Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel.’
“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’”( 2 Chronicles 7:14-22 ESV)