Allow me to make some observations about things that are going on here in our country.
I don’t need to make a long list, we all can make our own lists, from as far away as North Korea, which does not seem so far away anymore, to the hurricane in Texas and Louisiana, forest fires in the west, and Irma bearing down on who knows where. Terrorism at home and globally. Social upheaval, and a level of vitriol and hatred that divides not only the nation, but families. Personal struggles and crisis, and, you add whatever is bearing down on your heart. I have been in ministry for a long time, and I don’t ever remember seeing this level and this depth of angst.
What are we to make of this? Some say it is the judgment of God because we have killed millions of innocent lives, and thumbed noses at God. Some would say it is climate change or racial oppression. And it seems in these days, the attitude is simply “take your pick.”
I am not a prophet. I am a flawed person like everyone living on this planet. But I believe in the authority and the truth of the Word of God, the Bible. Unlike political tides that have ebbed and flowed over the millennium, the Word of God has remained despite those who have hated it and predicted it would be gone. Yet it remains.
I have also been extremely blessed to be on-site, observed and talked with people that I believe can teach us a lesson, if we will be willing to learn. I recently spent three weeks in the island nation of Fiji, interviewing very real and very ordinary people who are at this very moment experiencing the blessing of God, and His healing touch on their lands, their families and their individual lives. In each case, and every one is different, they all came to a place, where they asked themselves the question, “Why is this happening to us?”
And in each one of these cases, and many many more that I could never visit, the answer was found in the Bible. In every case, they began to realize that it was their lifestyle choices, their sins that were affecting the whole community and their ecology. Some who had once espoused “Global Warming” turned to see that the Scripture was really the answer to the needs of their community, and their nation.
Observation: These people got to a place of desperation, and desire to bring good to their community, and they humbled themselves to look to God for help.
Observation: When they sincerely and honestly allowed the standard of the Word of God to be the measure of their actions, attitudes and thinking, they were willing to learn from the Scripture what they needed to do to change.
Observation: In every case, when they individually, and corporately turned to God in humble repentance, confession of sin, and reconciliation with God and one another change happened, sometimes almost immediately. The ecology was healed, families, and communities were transformed, the economy grew, educational levels increased, and the list can go on and on.
Observation: When asked what was the one thing they would want others to know, universally, their responses were similar: love and obey God first, have faith in a good God, Believe the Word of God and He will bless you, obey the Word of God.
Observation: These people all understood that the answer to the needs of their lives, their families and their communities, even their lands was summarized, in one verse:
If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and HEAL THEIR LAND. 2 Chronicles 7:14.
With all that is going on around us in these days, without screaming and blaming each other, what if we humbly recognized that we are the cause of many of the afflictions we are suffering, and what if we honestly, and sincerely obeyed the Scriptures as given to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14? I have many times taught, “The condition of the nation is a reflection of the Church.”
Final Observation: In every case where this happened, God was faithful to His promise. Maybe we need to take a long, hard, honest look into our own hearts, and come together to seek His Face, and pray, and turn from our wicked ways. I am one hundred percent certain, that if we did that as a community, as a nation… He would heal our land.
But it is a conditional phrase: “IF my people…” What will be our response?