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This Weeks Bible Verse

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:13-14

 

A Call To Revival - 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB Version (New American Standard Bible)

ďand 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.Ē

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV (King James Version)

ďIf my people, 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.Ē

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 AMP 

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

 

1) Introduction:

 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14 is one of my favourite verses in the Bible.  The author  has recorded a spiritual revelation given to king Solomon the king of Israel, 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 12 tells us that, ďThen the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.Ē.

 

This verse is made up of an address, a group of people that this passage of scripture is addressed to, and a set of conditions that these people must do.  And if these people do fulfil the conditions outlined in this passage of scripture, God promises to bestow upon them with three blessings.

 

Most Bible teachers will tell you that there are no formulas with God, yet here recorded in 2 Chronicles is one of the most amazing passages of scripture that contains a formula for revival.  This verse is a conditional statement: thReturn to the Top of the Pageere are four conditions.  If the four conditions are met there are three promises that God will bestow on His people.

 

As a computer consultant and programmer this passage of scripture fascinates me, because this scripture is laid out in the Bible in the format of a basic IF THEN ELSE statement.  Those of you familiar with Microsoft Excel, the following formula may look familiar to you. ď=IF([Condition],THEN [What to do if the condition is true],ELSE [What to do if the condition is false]).  This verse in 2 Chronicles is constructed in the same format, e.g. IF my people meet the outlined conditions, THEN God will bless them; else God will allow them to continue to wallow in the consequences of their own sins.

 

Verse 13 of 2 Chronicles helps us place this scripture into its context and identify who this scripture is addressed to; "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,Ē.  In short verse 13 describes a situation where Godís people find themselves under Godís judgement, the Bible records many times and situations and examples throughout history where Godís people found themselves in just such a situation as this. 

 

2 Chronicles verse 14 contains a formula that can be used by Godís people to avert Godís anger and judgment and usher in a time of Godís blessing.  This passage of scripture fascinates me as it was not given through a prophet; it was given directly to King Solomon the reigning king of Israel. 

 

It fascinates me even more that King Solomon to whom this scripture was given lived from 1021 BC to 981 BC some 3000 years ago, and still we (Godís people) have failed to learn the lesson God was teaching or communicating to King Solomon.

 

Background Note: in this time in the history of the nation Israel the nation was ruled by King Solomon the son of King David and the person to whom this scripture was given to.  But what King Solomon did not know was that on his death some years later the nation Israel would split into two kingdoms, the kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah, and King Solomonís son would rule over the Kingdom of Judah.  Both Kingdoms would rebel against God and begin to worship idols; within a few decades Godís people would find themselves in a place where this verse would definitely have an application.

 

Centuries later most of the Kingdom of Israel would be taken captive by the Assyrian empire.  The Bible records that the Assyrian empire emptied the land of the people of the Kingdom of Israel only leaving a remnant, only a few peasants and farmers remained. 

 

History records that the Assyrian empire settled Assyrian peasants and farmers in the land occupied by the Kingdom of Israel in what would be today the northern half of the country Israel.  As time passed the remaining Israelites and the Assyrian settlers began to inter marry. 

 

Later when both the Assyrian empire and Babylon empire had fallen and the peoples of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah returned to their home land, the descendants of these inter marriages between the Assyrian settlers and the remnant of the Kingdom of Israel became known as Samaritans and the area that they lived became known as Samaria. 

 

The Samaritans were considered beyond salvation as they were not full blooded Jews or Israelites; this shows us the significant of the story of the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman recorded in John Chapter 4.Return to the Top of the Page

 

2) Addressed To:

The first Hebrew word in this verse is עם or ďamĒ which means a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock: - folk, men, nation, people.

 

Notice the KJV begins this verse ďIf my peopleĒ and the NASB begins this verse ďand My peopleĒ.  The translators of the NASB have added in the word ďandĒ to join the verse to the previous verse and its context, thus, ďif I send pestilence among My people, and My peopleÖetcĒ.  The translators of the KJV have added in the word ďifĒ to join the verse to the previous verse and used the word ďifĒ to carry the conditional context from the previous verse into verse 14, thus, ďif I send pestilence among my people; if my peopleÖetcĒ. 

 

Both the KJV and NASB are correct, they both state that verse 14 is addressed to ďmy peopleĒ, and both pre-empt that the statement made in verse 14 of 2 Chronicles chapter 7 is therefore conditional.

 

God has clearly addressed this passage of His word to His people, He goes on to qualify this by adding ďwho are called by my nameĒ.  So who are Godís people?

 

2a) Who Are Godís People

This is a good question, clearly God has addressed this scripture to His people but who and where are His people.  While doing some research on this passage of scripture I can across a web site where the author stated that this passage of scripture was solely directed at the nation Israel, and while I would not disagree that the nation Israel both ancient and modern are Godís people there are some things in this passage of scripture that intrigues me.  Did God give this passage of scripture to the Israelites, and never intend it to apply to the gentiles?

 

2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 is addressed to ďMy people, who are called by my nameĒ, why did God not just say ďMy peopleĒ, surely this would have been enough. 

 

I did a word search on the Hebrew world translated ďcalledĒ (קרא qara) in the Old Testament to get an idea of how translators have translated it when used in other verses in the Old Testament. I found it is or seems to be a general Hebrew word for call, called, invite, invited, etc.  Below are some examples of how the translators have translated this word, I have underlined the Hebrew world qara in each verse.

 

Gen 1:5 

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Return to the Top of the Page

 

Gen 2:20 

The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.

Gen 3:9 

Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"

 

Gen 4:25 

Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, "God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him."

 

Gen 13:4 

to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly; and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

 

Gen 16:11 

The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.

 

 Exodus 1:18 

So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?"

 

Exodus 2:20 

He said to his daughters, "Where is he then? Why is it that you have left the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat."

 

Exodus 3:4 

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

 

Exodus 8:8 

Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, "Entreat the LORD that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD."

 

Exodus 24:7 

Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!"

Return to the Top of the Page 

Exodus 33:19 

And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion."

 

What can we learn from this! God calls people to repent, to turn from there wicked ways, God invites people to accept the gift He has offered to pay the price for our wickedness and sin, but does this make us Godís people.  Godís people are those who have heard the invitation and have accepted it, and have proclaimed that Elohim (God) is the one true God, these are Godís people.

 

Mat 22:14 

"For many are called, but few are chosen."

 

This is very true of ancient Israel as they made a pact as a nation to serve and follow the ways of Elohim the God that appeared to Moses in the burning bush (I Am who I Am) when they were led from slavery from Egypt.  The Bible and history tells us that the people of Israel failed to keep to the pact or covenant that they made with God, but this is what this verse is about.

 

The church (Christians) is a collection or group of people that have heard the invitation God has made, accepted the invitation, and proclaimed that He is the one true God, the alpha, the omega, the beginning and the end.  By doing so we (the church) have entered or agreed to uphold the covenant God made with Israel.  We are grafted into the vine, and therefore by biblical definition we are Godís people.  Just as with Israel, if we the church do not keep the covenant we have entered into with God, God will call us to repentance.

 

Does this passage of scripture apply to us today?  If we are Godís people, then yes it does.  Are we not called by His name?

 

3) The conditions:

In 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 after stating to whom this passage of scripture is addressed to, God goes on to outline four conditions He requires from His people if they are to receive the three promises or blessings He has promised.Return to the Top of the Page

 

3a) Humble themselves

The first condition God requires of His people is that they humble themselves.  What does it mean to be humble and what does it mean to be humble before God?  To be humble is a concept almost lost in our modern western world, we live in a society that believes all peoples should be equal, we live in a society of political correctness.

 

The Hebrew word used in 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 for humble is  כּנע, kana which means to bend the knee; hence to humiliate, vanquish, to bring down (low), to bring into subjection, to bring under, to humble oneís self, to subdue, to be subdued.

 

There are two ways that a person can be humbled, a person can be humbled by force, that is; a person can be made to submit to the authority or rule of another.  The second way that a person can be humbled is to humble oneís self, to voluntarily choose to submit their will or authority to the will or authority of another.

 

In ancient times when a king or kingdom was defeated in battle, the defeated king would knee before his victor.  The defeated king would often be humiliated and mocked before his victor.  The defeated king would hand over his authority to rule his kingdom to his victor.  Sometimes the defeated king would then be put to death, other times in history the defeated king would be allowed to rule his kingdom as regent on behalf of his victor. 

  

We can find examples of both of these in the Bible, for example the last three kings of Judea prior to Judea being taken captive and carried off to Babylon for 70 years, were defeated and captured by king Nebuchadnezzar. Two of the kings of Judah were put to death by king Nebuchadnezzar as they rebelled against his rule.  The third, king Jehoiachin was taken captive and lived out his life as a captive in Babylon, (2 Kings 25:27).   Note King Jehoiachin was the second to last king of Judah to rule the Kingdom of Judah before being taken into exile in Babylon.  He ruled Judah for 3 months, 2 Kings 24:8.  For more information on king Jehoiachin refer to the article ďFrom Adam to Christ Ė Chapter 6Ē on this web site.

   

Jesus himself humbled himself at his crucifixion (Phil 2:8).  Matthew chapter 27 tells us that Jesus made no defense to the questions and accusations made against him by the chief priests.  As the son of God, Jesus could have defended himself and proven his innocence, Mathew Chapter 27 goes on to tells us that even Pilate knew that Jesus had done no wrong, so much so that the Bible records Pilate the roman governor of Israel publicly washed his hands of any responsibility from crucifying Jesus.

 

Philippians 2:8 

Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

Matt 27:11-14 

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."  (12)  And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer.  (13)  Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?"  (14)  And He Return to the Top of the Pagedid not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed.

 

Instead of defending himself Jesus remained quiet, allowing his accusers to manipulate events that would result in his crucifixion.  Jesus allowed himself to be mocked, humiliated, and ridiculed by his accusers, so that the Fatherís will would be done and Godís plan fulfilled.

 

When God said He requires His people to humble themselves what does He mean?  Humility is giving up your rights, your authority, and your will, and handing them over to another, to allow someone else to make decisions for you, to allow someone else to give you instruction.  God will not force us to submit our will or to humble ourselves.  God wants us to choose to submit our will to his will, and God wants us to choose to humble ourselves before Him.  In this way we demonstrate our trust, or co-operation and our willingness to accept Godís will in our lives.

 

God requires His people to choose, voluntarily to give up their rights, their will, and allow Him to rule over them and through them.  Humility is when we allow God to work out His will and His plan through our lives, when we allow God to direct our decisions so that His will and His plan is worked out in our lives.  Humility requires us to subdue our will, not to live our lives the way we want to and have God direct our decisions.  

 

James 4:10 

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

 

The Kingdom of God by definition is where ever the rule of God exists, when we humble ourselves before Him and allows Him to work out His will and His plan through our lives; we allow Godís rule and therefore the kingdom of God to rule through us.

 

It seems to be a basic human failing not to let or allow someone else make decisions for us.  In short human beings like to be in control, or at least like to think we are in control, whatís more history has shown repeatedly that when human beings are forced to submit or give up their will, they rebel and fight against it.  It seems that human beings have a basic desire to be free, from any force or entity that seeks to control us, yet God requires us to trust Him to the extent that we choose to do the very thing that goes against our inner most being, and choose to allow Him to make our decisions for us.  God requires that we humble ourselves before Him, voluntarily allow Him to make our decisions for us, to guide our thoughts, so that His will can be worked out in and through our lives, that He might be glorified in and through us.   Return to the Top of the Page

 

3b) Pray

The second condition God requires of His people is that they pray.  When one of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus taught them what has become known as the Lordís Prayer.

 

Luke 11:1 

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples."

 

The Lordís Prayer is recorded in the Gospel of Luke chapter 11 verses 2 to verse 4; it can also be found in the Gospel of Mathew chapter 6 verses 9 to verse 13.

 

Matt 6:9-13 

"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.  (10)  'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.  (11)  'Give us this day our daily bread.  (12)  'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  (13)  'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]'

 

Is God asking His people to recite the Lordís Prayer?  Not at all as the Lordís Prayer had not been given to Godís people, when this passage of scripture was spoken. 

 

Prayer is a means for Godís people to approach the throne of God and make requests, or supplication for their needs.  Prayer is essentially a means by which Godís people can communicate with God.  No relationship can grow if there is no communication in the relationship, nor can Godís people have a relationship with God and get to know Him and His will and plan for their lives unless they communicate with Him.

 

Perhaps one of the most missed or unquoted passages of scripture are the four verses that precede the Lordís Prayer in Matthew chapter 6.  Matthew chapter 6 verses 9 to 13 is the Lordís Prayer which essentially is how to approach God and make requests of Him, if you like how to conduct ourselves spiritually.  But in Matthew chapter 6 verses 5 to 8, Jesus gave His disciples instruction on how to conduct ourselves physically.

 

Matthew 6:5-8 

"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  (6)  "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (7)  "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  (8)  "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

God desires that His people talk to Him, get to know Him, to know the heart of the Father that His will would be worked out in our lives.Return to the Top of the Page

 

3c) Seek My Face

The third condition God requires of His people is that they seek His face.  What does it mean to seek Godís face?

 

The Hebrew word used here is בּקשׁ baqash, which means to seek, be sought, find, seek after, or to look for.  This Hebrew word means to search for with diligence, to earnestly seek after, look for, or search out.

 

Here are some examples of how the Hebrew word בּקשׁ baqash, has been translated.  I have underlined the Hebrew word בּקשׁ baqash in each verse.

 

Exodus 2:15 

When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.

 

In Exodus chapter 2 verse 15 we find Moses fleeing for his life when Pharaoh the king of Egypt finds out that he lost his temper and killed an Egyptian, the implication of this passage of scripture is that if Moses had not fled for his life Pharaoh would have killed him.  Pharaoh sought to find Moses and have him killed for his crime before Moses could escape.

 

Exodus 4:19 

Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead."

 

In Exodus chapter 4 verse 19, we find God instructing Moses to return to Egypt as those who had sought to put him to death many years early were now dead themselves, God was in essence reassuring Moses it was safe to return to Egypt and that he would not be captured and put to death on his return for his early crime.

 

1 Samuel 19:1-2 

Now Saul told Jonathan his son and all his servants to put David to death. But Jonathan, Saul's son, greatly delighted in David.  (2)  So Jonathan told David saying, "Saul my father is seeking to put you to death. Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning, and stay in a secret place and hide yourself.

 Return to the Top of the Page

And later, in 1 Samuel verses 9 and 10 we read.

 

1Samuel 19:9-10  Now there was an evil spirit from the LORD on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand, and David was playing the harp with his hand.  (10)  Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, so that he stuck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.

 

In 1 Samuel chapter 19 we read that Saul king of Israel is seeking to have David killed, in verse 9 and 10, Saul attacks David with his spear and tries to pin him to the wall, but David is able to escape.

 

In both of the above examples Pharaoh and King Saul made a concerted effect to put into effect their desire, that is, to have someone put to death.

 

When God says that His people are to seek His face, what did He mean?  God wants us to desire to be in His presence, and that that desire be so great, that we will seek Him out, that we will give up our favourite pass time to enter into His presence and to spend time with Him.

 

Amos 5:4 AMP

For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek Me [inquire for and of Me and require Me as you require food] and you shall live!

 

Jesus also taught this principle;

 

Mat 7:7-8 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (8)  "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

 

Jesus took this principle even further than what God has stated in 2 Chronicles, Jesus said if we ask God, it will be given, if we seek out God,Return to the Top of the Page He will not hide from us, we will find Him, if we knock on the door, the door we be opened for us. 

 

God has promised that if His people will seek Him out, if they will desire with the utmost of their hearts to find Him, he will not hide Himself from His people, He will open the door, so to speak, and allow them to come into His presence.

 

3d) Turn From Their Wicked Ways

The final condition God requires of His people is that they turn from their wicked ways.

                  

There are three key words in the Hebrew in this condition;

1)    Turn                שׁוּב                  shub

2)    Wicked           רעה    רע           ra‛  raa‛ah

3)    Ways              דּרך                  derek

 

I am going to look at the easy words first and leave the hard one to last, so I am not going to look at each word as it occurs in this passage of scripture.

 

3di) Wicked   רעה    רע           ra‛ raa‛ah

For centuries the human race has been debating what is wicked, and the problem with this is that as time goes on our definition of what is right and wrong and therefore wicked changes.  An example of this is; when I was a young man such things as homosexuality, prostitution, defacto relationships, were illegal or frowned upon in New Zealand, you could be dismissed from your job if the company found out you were homosexual, you could be imprisoned for being a homosexual or prostitute, you could be prosecuted for committing adultery.  Today in New Zealand these are lawful and acceptable.  Prior to the 1960ís these were considered unlawful and therefore wicked, today they are lawful and acceptable.

 

The problem we have with human beings changing the definition of what is right and what is wrong is that God is an unchanging God, and what He considers as right and wrong does not change with time or with each generation.  Godís standards and therefore Godís definition of what is right and what is wrong never changes.

 

Hebrews 13:8 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

 

Isaiah 55:8-9 

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.  (9)  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.

 

Malachi 3:6 NASB  Return to the Top of the Page

"For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

 

In its simplest terms this word used in 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 that has been translated wicked, means anything that displeases God.  Does it displease God if we murder or steal?  Does it displease God if we tell a lie, or if we dishonour our parents?  Does it displease God if we worship another God, or worship an idol?  Does it displease God if we disobey His commandments?  Does it displease God if we do not love Him?

 

3dii) Ways                 דּרך                   derek

The Hebrew word ďderekĒ used in this passage of scripture mean a ďcourse of lifeĒ or a ďmode of actionĒ, it means to be on a journey, to be a passenger.  

 

Romans 3:23

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

Psalms 14:1-3 

For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.  (2)  The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.  (3)  They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.

 

As the book of Romans and the book of Psalms tell us, we have all sinned and fallen short of Godís glory, we are all born sinners or wicked, we have all displeased God.

 

We are on a journey from the day we are born to the day we die, a journey to a Godless future, destined to spend eternity outside of the presence of God.  We are passengers on the bus of life, this bus only has one stop that you can get off at, and it stops at a place where Godís presence, Godís blessing, and Godís promises do not exist.

 

3diii) Turn                  שׁוּב                   shub

So what did God mean when He said turn from your wicked ways?  The Hebrew word ďshubĒ means to return to the starting point, to retreat, to turn around, to repent.  The idea here is God wants His people to repent, to return to the point before they entered into sin and wickedness, to return to His presence.

 

If you like, God wants His people to turn the bus around.  Instead of riding the bus of life into outer darkness; to ride the bus of life into His presence, and into His blessing.  This bus stops in paradise, where Godís presence, Godís blessing, Godís love are seen and experienced every day.

 

God wants His people to return to the point before they displeased God, to enter back into the relationship with Him, to repent of their sins and allow Him to bless them.

 

God wants his people to stop disobeying Him, to stop doing evil, to put away our wicked ways, and live lives of righteousness, according to His will and His standards.  God wants His people to live our lives choosing to do good and choosing not to do evil, to be blameless, that is; to be righteous.

 

We find an example of this in the Bible when God spoke to Abram or, as he became known Abraham and told him to live his life in a blameReturn to the Top of the Pageless manner, or to walk before God and be righteous.

 

Genesis 17:1 

Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.

 

Jesus gave a similar command or instruction to his followers in Mathew chapter 5, as the one God gave to Abraham in Genesis chapter 17.

 

Matthew 5:48 NASB 

"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

Jesus commanded or instructed them to be perfect, with the qualifying statement that their perfection should be as the perfection of their heavenly father.

 

To use New Testament terminology, to turn from your wicked ways is calling His people to repent from their sins.  What is repentance?  Repentance is changing our thought process to think in the ways of the Kingdom of God, instead of thinking in the ways of the world.

 

Romans 12:2 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

If the world looks at Godís people and only sees a mirror image of itself, how will the world ever see God?  The apostle Paul makes this point in 2 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18, the apostle James also makes this point in the book of James chapter 4, verse 4, and Jesus Himself makes this point in Matthew chapter 5 verses 46 and 47, when he compared Godís people to the salt of the earth.

 

2 Corinthians 3:18 NASB 

(18)  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

 

James 4:4 NASB 

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the wReturn to the Top of the Pageorld makes himself an enemy of God.

 

Matthew 5:13 NASB

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

 

4) The Promises

As mentioned earlier this passage of scripture has four conditions that Godís people must fulfil and three promises or blessings that God will bestow upon His people should they meet the specified conditions.  The promises or blessings are conditional on Godís people fulfilling the four conditions God requires of His people.

 

4a) I Will Hear From Heaven

The Hebrew word used in this passage of scripture for the word translated as Hear is the word שׁמע shama, which means to give ear to, to give attention to (e.g. Exodus 3:7), to consider, to obey (e.g. Gen 22:18), to hear with understanding (e.g. Gen 11:7).

 

Essentially the Hebrew word shama means to hear something, when we hear it we understand what is required or is being asked of us, and as a result we give our attention to that request, or we are obedient to the request.

 

God is saying in the passage that if His people will meet the four conditions that He requires, then He will not just hear our prayers, but he will pay due attention to them, He will act on our prayers and answer then, that is: obey the request and consider how to answer the prayers of his People.

 

As quoted earlier in this teaching, Mathew 7:7-8 tells us if we ask it will be given, and again he that asks will receive.

 

Mat 7:7-8 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (8)  "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

 

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, an assumption that can be made here is that Jesus gave these words to those that were saved and were therefore by definition His people, and therefore if they asked the Father, the Father would answer their prayers as they were inReturn to the Top of the Page right relationship with God.

 

This leads us to some difficult theology, if Godís people are not in a right relationship with God.  Does God pay attention to the prayers of His people?  Does God refuse to consider the requests made of Him by His people?  Does God obey the requests of His people when they are out of relationship with Him?

 

Modern church theology tells us that God always answers the prayers of His people, yet this scripture in 2 Chronicles 7 suggests that God does not always answer the prayers of His People.  We quote passages of scripture like Mathew 7:7 and Hebrews 13:5 (which is a quote from Deuteronomy 31:6 and verse 8) to comfort ourselves, yet fail to understand what God really wants or requires of us.  It is interesting to note that history demonstrates that outpourings of Godís blessing or outpourings of the Holy Spirit, as the modern church would term it, are preceded by a period of repentance by Godís people.

 

Mat 7:7 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

 

Heb 13:5 

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,"

 

Deu 31:6-8 

"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."  (7)  Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.  (8)  "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

 

4b) Forgive their sins

The Hebrew word used here for forgive means to forgive, pardon or spare.  As we learned earlier in this teaching sin, or our wicked ways is anything that displeases God.

 

Roman 3:23 tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of Godís glory, there are no exceptions, and we were born into a life of sin inheriting this curse from our parents. 

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Romans 3:23

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

Sin separates us from God, sin destroys our relationship with God, sin leads to death, and everything in our world has been infected by sin and is therefore dying or in a state of decay, as a result.  We will die one day as our bodies are in a state of decay, animals die and even the planet we live on is slowly losing its ability to sustain life, slowly dying, due to the influence of sin in our universe.

 

What does God mean when He says he will forgive our sins?  As I said earlier the Hebrew world means to pardon or spare.  What are we to be pardoned or spared from?   Sin leads to death, but God has promised to spare His people from the consequences, or penalty of sin.  If sin leads to death then death surely is the consequences or penalty of sinning.  Are we therefore to be spared or pardoned from death?

 

Romans 6:23 NASB 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

The short answer is yes we are, but the penalty for sin is not just the death of the physical body, but the death of the human spirit as well.  God has promised to spare His people from spiritual death and to restore their physical bodies.  God has promised to set His people free from the consequences of sin.

 

Does this mean that we will not die?  It means that your physical body will die, but your spirit will live on, and that one day when God sets up His kingdom under the rule of Jesus Christ, your physical body will be restored, or resurrected, and it no longer will suffer from the consequences of sin, i.e. sickness, disease, death, and old age, i.e. decay. 

 

Revelation 2:11 

'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.'

 

Revelation 20:6 

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

 

Revelation 20:14  Return to the Top of the Page

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

 

Revelation 21:8 

"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

 

How is it then that we obtain this forgiveness?

 

I believe this passage of scripture was given by God specifically to outline Godís expectation of how we obtain this promised blessing and the other two blessings mentioned in this passage of scripture.

 

If my people will humble themselves, and pray, and earnestly seek me out, and turn away from doing evil, then God says, he will forgive their sin.  He will wipe the slate clean as if that person had never sinned at all.  That my friends is an amazing promise.

 

I have included a passage of scripture from the book of Ezekiel where God outlined the conditions for salvation to the Nation of Israel.  I believe that these conditions and guidelines still apply today through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

 

Ezekiel 18:20-32 NASB 

"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.  (21)  "But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  (22)  "All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live.  (23)  "Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?  (24)  "But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and does according to all the abominations that a wicked man does, will he live? All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die.  (25)  "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Hear now, O house of Israel! Is My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right?  (26)  "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die.  (27)  "Again, when a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life.  (28)  "Because he considered and turned away from all his transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  (29)  "But the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Are My ways not right, O house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?  (30)  "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct," declares the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.  (31)  "Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?  (32)  "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live."Return to the Top of the Page

 

4c) Heal their land

What did God mean when He said He would heal their land, in part the answer is alluded to in the previous verse, 2 Chronicles 7:13.

 

2 Chronicles 7:13 NASB 

"If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,

 

2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 13 and verse 14 are part of the same sentence as translated in the King James Version of the bible.

 

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NASB 

(13)  "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, (14) and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

So, what is God saying?  If I have stopped it from raining on the land, if I have brought a drought, if I have bought plagues of locusts and insects to devour the crops, and if I have caused pestilence to fall on my people, if I have brought judgment on my people due to their wicked rebellion against me and my statutes.  If my people will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will heal the land from the judgements I have bought upon it.

 

In ancient Israel the land was their lively hood.  If the land did not bring forth the crops at the appropriate times and if the harvest was poor, then the people would starve or have insufficient food, or the animals the people grazed for milk, cheese, and other products would be under nourished, and not produce sufficient milk, cheese, etc.  Again the peopleís lives would suffer, as a result of the poor crops and livestock.

 

Essentially, the land was the centre of their economy, if the land did not produce its crops the people and the livestock that the people relied on for milk, clothing, and other produces, would starve.  Their ability to feed their children, to trade with their neighbours, was diminished.  Deuteronomy 11:16-17 demonstrates this very point, God warns the Israelites to stay faithful to His commands and status, and not get drawn into worshiping other Godís, as this would have consequences on their economy and well being.       Return to the Top of the Page

 

Deuteronomy 11:16-17 NASB 

 (16)  "Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them.  (17)  "Or the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the LORD is giving you.

 

Therefore the land that God is talking about in 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14, is pivotal to the centre of our economy.  The very thing that gives us the ability to provide for ourselves and our families, this is the land the God is referring to.

 

This principle can be applied at all levels of our life and society.  It can be applied at an individual level, perhaps for some of us the land signifies our jobs that enable us to earn money to provide for both ourselves and our families.  Just as I have implied in my previous statement, this principle can be applied at a family level.  This principle can be applied at a village, town or city level of our society, just as equally it can be applied at a national level, and last but not least it can be applied on a global scale.

 

Essentially, God is promising that if Godís people will meet or comply with the four conditions that God has outlined in 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14, then God will heal their land, that is: God will provide for His people.  The rains will come on time to water the ground.  God will not allow pestilence and disease to destroy our crops.  Godís people will have food to feed their families, and livestock to produce milk, clothing and other essentials of life.  God would bless the land in such a way that Godís people would have the necessities of life, Godís people, would be able to prosper.  God wants His people to have a good life, and enjoy the planet He created for them.

 

Matthew 7:11 NASB 

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is gooReturn to the Top of the Paged to those who ask Him!

 

So, how does this apply to us today?  God wants to provide for His people, God want His people to prosper.  What sort of God lets His people starve, or go unclothed?  God is saying to us today that if we, His people, will humble ourselves and pray and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will ensure that His people are blessed with a good food source, with clothing, and shelter.  God will bless us in such a way that we will prosper, we will live a good life.

 

Philippians 4:19 NASB 

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

 

Isaiah 46:8-10 NASB 

"Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors.  (9)  "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me,  (10)  Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';

 

God has declared it He has promised to provide for His people, he has promised to supply all our needs, all we need to do is to repent, seeking Him with all our hearts in absolute humility, and trust Him to deliver on the promises he has declared and made.

 

Summary

How do we do this?  This is the age old question.

 

Clearly, the message God is portraying to His people in this passage of scripture is that the four conditions go hand in hand.  Without seReturn to the Top of the Pageeking God, it is impossible to humble ourselves before God.

 

Is it possible to seek God and not humble ourselves before God?  Is it possible to truly pray and not be humble before God?  Is it possible to truly repent or turn from our wicked ways without humility?  Jesus told a parable to illustrate this very point; we can find this parable in Luke Chapter 18 verses 9 to 14.

 

Luke 18:10-14 

"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  (11)  "The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  (12)  'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'  (13)  "But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'  (14)  "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."

 

In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught His disciple how to pray, instructing His disciples to pray in secret, to pray in humility.

 

Matthew 6:5-8 

"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  (6)  "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (7)  "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  (8)  "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

 

Is it not true that prayer is how we speak to God; and humility is how we hear God?  Let him who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to Godís people.

 

Biblical humility seems to be a concept that we struggle to grasp and understand, we preach sermons on it, we write teachings on it, we read sermons and teaching on humility.  Yet we struggle to give up our will, struggle to give up the things we want, but more importantly we donít involve God in our decision making processes.  Are we afraid that God will say No!  Yet the book of James tells us;

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James 4:10 NASB

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

 

James 4:10 AMP 

Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

 

That Psalmist writes that the only sacrifice that is pleasing to God is a broken spirit and a contrite heart.  We learnt earlier that the Hebrew word kana which is translated humble in our passage of scripture means to subdue, bend the knee, to bring down.  The psalmist is challenging us to subdue and break our spirit before God, to bend the knee in absolute humility, the Apostle James teaches us that anyone who humbles himself or herself before God or in the presence of God, that God will exalt the humble and contrite heart and lift it up to a place of significance.

 

Psalms 51:16-17 NASB 

(16) For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.  (17)  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

 

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians implored them to walk before God in a manner worthy of their calling, with all humility and gentleness.  Further down in Ephesians chapter 4, Paul tells them to lay aside their old self, which is corrupted with lusts and deceits, he goes on and exhorts them to renew the spirit of their minds, and put on their new self, which is in the likeness of God.  Again in the New Testament we find the repentance and having a relationship with God is linked with humility.

 

Ephesians 4:1-3 NASB 

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,  (2)  with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,  (3)  being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.Return to the Top of the Page

 

Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB 

(22) that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,  (23)  and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,  (24)  and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

 

In his letter to the church in Rome we find Paul writing a similar message?  Paul urges the Romans to present their bodies as a living and holy sacrifice before God, he goes on to comment that this is how we serve God in worship.  Paul qualifies this by saying ďdo not be conformed to this world or age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindsĒ.  What is Paul saying, humble yourself before God, and let God transform your mind in such a what the you will learn to stop making decisions based on what you know of the world or age, but you will start making decisions guided by the Holy spirit, decisions that are based on his Kingdom.  Let your minds become like Gods mind, think in terms of righteousness, justice, and love. 

 

Only God can bring out these attributes in a person, when a man or a woman starts making decision based on righteousness, justice, and love, this is evidence that this person is walking in relationship with God.  Paul tells the Romans this in Romans chapter 12 verse 2 when he says ďbe transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God isĒ.  Paul tells us that when we think and make decisions based on righteousness, justice, and love, we will prove to those around us what the will of God is, and he qualifies this by adding that the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect, that which is with fault or blemish.

 

Romans 12:1-2 NASB 

(1) Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Romans 12:1-2 AMP 

(1) I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.  (2)  Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and accepReturn to the Top of the Pagetable and perfect [in His sight for you].

 

Why is it that we refuse to give up our will and desires, our will, and our decisions, and give them to God?  Are we afraid God will say no?  Do we not trust God to fulfil His promise, or His end of the arrangement?  Or is it that we just want to be in control, and we cannot risk giving someone else control over our lives? 

 

James tells us that if we will humble ourselves before God then He will lift us up, he will make us significant, surely that is a promise worth having?

 

In my life I know lots of people who say they want to repent, I know lots of people who say they want to seek God, and I know lots of people that say they pray.  Yet I do not know lots of people who are humble before God, or even who say they want to be humble before God.

 

Apparently, the challenge to Godís people is and always has been to humble ourselves, and pray, and seek Godís face, and turn from our wicked ways.  How bad do you want Godís blessing, will you trust God to deliver on His word. 


It has not escaped my attention that in Godís list of things He requires us to do, humility is listed first; it seems that God is suggesting that we cannot successfully do or meet the other three requirements without the first.

 

The New Testament and the Old Testament are full of verses telling us to repent 2 Chronicles chapter 14 verse 7 is just one example in the Old Testament.  Here are some verses from the New Testament.

 

Jesus speaking.

Matthew 4:17 NASB 

From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."Return to the Top of the Page

 

Mark 1:14-15 NASB 

(14) Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,  (15)  and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."

 

Peterís sermon on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:38-39 NASB 

(38) Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  (39)  "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

 

Peter preaching at the temple.

Acts 3:19 NASB 

"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

 

Paul preaching in the city of Athens.

Acts 17:30-31 NASB 

(31) "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,  (31)  because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

 

God speaking.

Revelation 3:19 AMP 

Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. [Prov. 3:12.]

 

The book of Numbers tells us that God can not lie; he is not like men and needs to repent from what He has promised to do, what he has said he will do, he will do, what he has said he will make good, he will make good.  The challenge for us, Godís people, is to trust Him to deliver what he has promised, but it seems God requires something from us first, or should I say four things from us.Return to the Top of the Page

 

Numbers 23:19 NASB 

"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

 

Last but not least, some will say that this teaching is Old Testament and therefore does not apply to them as we live under grace and in the New Testament age, and some will say that I have wasted my time writing this teaching as 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14 was given to the Jews or the Nation Israel and is not applicable to the gentiles or to the Church.

 

This next section is to demonstrate that the principles stated in 2 chronicles chapter 7, verse 14 are not just Old Testament principles that apply to the Nation Israel but are founded the New Testament as well, and are therefore they are applicable to the Nation Israel past and present, and to the Church past and present.

 

I would challenge anyone to show me from either the New Testament or the Old Testament that if Godís people, did humble themselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, that God would not bestow upon them abundant blessings.

 

John 16:23-24 NASB 

(23) "In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.  (24)  "Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

 

The tables below are provided to demonstrate that the theme laid out in 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14 are consistent through both the Old Testament and the New Testament.   Our passage of scripture in 2 Chronicles encapsulates the four themes in one verse or passage of scripture.

 

If we search the Bible to find out what God requires of mankind, the overwhelming theme is to repent, to turn away from our wicked ways, and seek or follow God.  Surely this is as applicable to godís people today as it was yesterday.  God has pleaded with His people over the centuries to repent and walk in His statues and be like Him. 

 

Matthew 5:48 NASB  Return to the Top of the Page

"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

 

I hope and pray that God has spoken to you, and blessed you through this teaching, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading this far.  I pray God will bless you and enlighten you your walk with Him.

 

Numbers 6:24-27 NASB 

The LORD bless you, and keep you;  (25)  The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you;  (26)  The LORD lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.'  (27)  "So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

 

 

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