2 Chronicles 7:14 – A NATION AFTER GOD’S HEART
I suggest that just before this sermon that you sing “America” (“My Country ‘Tis of Thee).
This morning during our worship service we did something that was first done almost 170 years ago at a July 4th celebration. It was on July 4th, 1831 when the words “My Country ‘Tis of Thee’, our national hymn, were first sung by the Sunday School children in the Park Street Church in Boston.
“Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was a classmate of the author, Samuel Frances Smith, a Baptist minister, attributed Smith’s genius in the song to the very first word, “my”. This makes the song personal, and instantly challenges every patriot.” (source unkown)
Of course, the hymn “America” is a hymn of pride. We as Americans have much to be proud of!
We can be proud of our beautiful forests, gorgeous mountains, enormous rivers, and fertile farmlands.
We can be proud of our democracy, our system of government, and our freedoms of speech and movement.
We can be proud to be a refuge for those in need. It is written on the base or our Statue of Liberty,
“Give me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning to be free, The refuse of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
We can be proud of our Bill of Rights, and proud that it is on our money that it says, “In God we trust”.
I, for one, am proud to sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”!
But let’s not fool ourselves. We are a nation that is in trouble!
We are a nation that permits babies to be murdered through abortion.
We are a nation that has to build more cells because our prisons are overcrowded.
We are a nation that forbids prayer in school, and forbids Christian groups to meet on some campuses.
We are a nation whose general morality has reached an all time low.
We tend to slap the face of God who made us a great nation!
There is no doubt that America is but a shadow of her previous greatness. Does this have anything to do with God? 2 Chronicles 7:13 tells us that the answer is “yes”! In appearing to Solomon God shows that He commands the things that happen to a nation. He controls the weather, the animal population and disease according to this verse.
2 Chronicles 36:14-17 shows God’s judgment on Judah. The same thing happened to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
My friends, never say that it couldn’t happen here!
Down through the centuries too many nations have fallen for us to presumptuous.
Instead, we must ask, “Can we reverse the trend?” The answer, of course, is “yes”!
God shows us how to reverse the trend in 2 Chronicles 7:14
Let us answer 3 questions:
1. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
God says that His people are the responsible ones.
Originally, that would have meant that God was speaking to Israel. Today, however, the people of God are the Christians. Romans 10:12-13
Notice also that the people of God are those called by His name.
We are called “Christians”, named after Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh.
It is the Christian who needs to be responsible for a national turning back to God.
2. WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES?
We are to humble ourselves. James 4:6,10
We are to pray. I believe this is a prayer of confession. Psalm 32:5
We are to seek God’s face.
We are to turn from our wicked ways.
3. HOW WILL GOD RESPOND?
He will hear from Heaven.
He will forgive our sin.
He will heal our land.