2 Chronicles 7:14 is Not About Us
Many Christians mistakenly cling to this verse as they do to many others that do not apply to us today.
“If my people [Israel], which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land [of Israel].” (2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
They wrongly assume that this verse applies to us of “the Church, the Body of Christ” today during this age of “the dispensation of the grace of God.”
2 Chronicles chapters 5-7 actually is the account of the consecration of Solomon’s Temple to God in Jerusalem, in the holy land of Israel in the Mid-east. The ceremony included singing, trumpeting, and religious presentations that included the Ark of the Covenant and the priests. The pinnacle of the ceremony was King Solomon’s prayer of consecration to God over the temple and his people (2 Chron 6:1-42). In response God poured out fire from heaven that devoured the sacrifices (2 Chron 7:1-2).
God later appeared to the King of Israel in a night vision to affirm the covenants of promise made with Israel and concerning their Temple.
A true story - Ignoring who God was addressing in 2 Chronicles 7, some three thousand years later, some well-meaning but ignorant Christians in Indiana, in the USA, placed signs in their yard ... quoting 2 Chron 7:14 which describe God’s covenant terms WITH ISRAEL. We ought not to play fast and loose with Scriptures.
“If my people [Israel], which are called by my name [Jehovah God], shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land [of the Nation Israel in the Mid-east].” – 2 Chronicles 7:14
The desire of the Indiana Christian folks was to claim Israel’s covenant promises for America, while at the same time avoiding Israel’s covenant curses. But the one problem that makes all of this impossible is that God was not talking to Hoosiers of Indiana or anyone other than Israel when he a gave this covenant promise about forgiveness and land healing.
A key principle in “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim. 2:15) is that we must identify the Speaker (Jehovah God), the Audience (Israel), and the Context (to and about the Nation Israel in its land) of the words being spoken. These are the keys to proper Bible study which were ignored in Indiana, but such is the case for the weak and pathetic Christendom we see today.
Below are Ten reasons 2 Chronicles 7:14 was not written to or about today’s “church, the body of Christ” and that we would be wrong to adopt this verse or any other verses that apply only to and About Israel as if they were for our use today.
- “the king [Solomon] turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel” – 2 Chron 6:3
The covenant prayer and God’s response was given to the King of Israel and the nation, not to the President or any citizen of America.
- “the king and all the people [of Israel] offered sacrifices before the LORD” – 2 Chron 7:4
Solomon sacrificed 142,000 animals. There are no such sacrifices needed for us to receive forgiveness. Christ already shed his blood for our forgiveness. Israel in 2 Chron 7:14 needed animal sacrifices.
- “I …have chosen this place [Jerusalem] to myself for an house of sacrifice” – 2 Chron 7:12
God chose a specific place to make his covenant. The place was at the temple in Jerusalem in Israel (2 Chron 7:12). This excludes every other place in the world as a recipient for this covenant promise.
- If I shut up the heavens…” – 2 Chron 7:13
According to the covenant made with God, Israel would be cursed with drought, pests, and disease if they disobeyed the covenant… which He did. None of these curses are sent by God upon “the church, the body of Christ” since Christ was already made a curse for us (Gal 3:13).
- “my people [Israel] , which are called by my name” – 2 Chron 7:14
The blessings were given only to “my people, which are called by my name.” God placed his name on only one nation: Israel (Num 6:27, Ps 147:20)
- “if…shall humble…pray…seek…turn” – 2 Chron 7:14
Forgiveness for Israel was conditioned upon their “works’ of humility, praying, seeking God’s face, and turning from their wicked ways (Mat 6:14). “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5 (KJV)
Forgiveness for believers today in this age of ‘the pure grace of God’ is now being Offered Freely through “the blood of Christ” without any of our works involved (Col 1:14, Titus 3:5).
- “and I will forgive their [Israel’s] sins” – 2 Chron 7:14
Israel’s sins still needed forgiveness. All their sins were not yet forgiven until they met the conditions.
The sins of believers today have Already Been Forgiven for Christ’s sake (Eph 4:32, Col 2:13), all we need do is “Believe” to receive. There is not one more sin that needs forgiven among “the church, the Body of Christ.” In fact, God does not “impute sins” to believers today.
“But to him that Worketh NOT, but BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5 (KJV)
Amazing, what a difference in the program of Law under which Israel lived versus the Grace we live under today.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace.” (Romans 6:14 (KJV)
- “heal their land” – 2 Chron 7:14
This was the land which belonged to Israel (2 Chron 6:25) not the USA. The church the Body of Christ does not have one square inch of land promised to them by God. This is why we are called ambassadors and given a heavenly position (2 Cor 5:20, Phil 3:20).
- “now have I chosen and sanctified this house” – 2 Chron 7:15-16
The prayers were toward a building (2 Chron 7:15).
We are not required to pray toward any Temple, nor does the church that Paul calls “the body of Christ” have a temple made of hands for God to dwell in. Know ye not that we “the members of His body” are the spiritual temple of God today (1 Cor 3:16)?
- “and [the Gentiles were and still are] strangers from the covenants of promise” – Eph 2:12
Paul says that Gentiles were strangers from the covenants of promise that God made to Israel. 2 Chronicles 7:14 was a covenant promise God made to Israel ONLY.
Simply put, God was NOT talking to or about “the Church the Body of Christ” today in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
By contrast we can thank God that he has revealed through “the Apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul, something more excellent in “the revelation of the mystery [Gk. musterion, secret]” of Christ (Rom 16:25, Eph 3:1-6).
The Church can glory in having already received “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Eph 1:3) instead of waiting in vain for earthly blessings that were promised to Israel ONLY, not promised to us of today's grace age in the first place.
So, as we can see there is a great danger in playing fast and loose with the Scriptures, misusing the words of God… such as robs us of “the riches of our inheritance in Christ.”