1 Kings 8:37-40 (KJV) …whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men)…
Let’s be honest. The state of the world is filled with chaos because no one knows to whom to turn for truth. The government has not been very forthcoming in presenting the intelligence concerning the pandemic. The media outlets have become politicized and have forgotten that their sole purpose exists in providing accountability from those in leadership and power. One pastor is saying this and the other pastor is saying that while both have taken the Scriptures out of context to accomplish their own personal agenda of building a following in their own names. When does it stop? Where does it end? In seeking truth concerning what is taking place in the world, our best defense against being inoculated with erroneous doctrine is to learn how to search the Scriptures and hear what the Spirit is truly speaking to the Church (Rev. 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22).
One can say the same applies to me. I would agree and say they are absolutely correct. However, the difference is that I do not have to be concerned about losing members or experience a decrease in giving because I do not have a congregation over whom I have been given a charge. Therefore, I can speak the truth freely without fear of reprisal and retaliation from those who are not in agreement with the truth. I am only about one thing: Speaking the unadulterated truth in Spirit and in power (1 Cor. 2:1-4).
Understanding The Text
When we look at today’s text, we can observe much of the things Solomon prayed against have been taking place in the surrounding culture. This causes one to wonder if we have turned a blind eye to the lessons that history has taught us. It seems as though we have because we are seeing the effects of turning away from a God-centered society to becoming a Godless nation. This can be observed in the chaos that is taking place at an increasingly alarming rate. God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace (1 Cor. 14:33). The nations have no answer for the current pandemic and are more concerned for the economy than for human life. In all of this, I still do not believe we are experiencing the judgment of God as many may proclaim. I believe this is the warning that He often gives as an act of mercy before judgment comes (Jon. 1:1-4:11).
When we place ourselves in a position of humility through our repentant heart, God is able to move the forces of darkness out of our spheres of influence.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because even in the midst of all that we have experienced in the past couple of months, I believe God has been waiting for us to turn toward Him wholeheartedly. I believe that He longs to stay the hand of the enemy in this situation. However, the pride of humanity refuses to bow the knee to the Sovereign Authority of the King of the creation (Prov. 16:18). As history continues to instruct us, God will not wrestle with humanity forever. At some point, His holiness and righteousness must shine through even in the midst of His acts of grace and mercy (Deut. 28:21-22; Hab. 1:13).
With all of this, God is still gracious and merciful towards us (Lam. 3:1-59). I believe He longs to brings healing to His creation, but our obstinate ways continue to stand in the way of experiencing the fullness of His healing grace and glory. So how can we turn the face of this invisible enemy? By turning our faces to God. This is what Solomon is speaking of when he dedicates the Temple to God. As the temple of the Living God, we have the same opportunity as the Nation of Israel to turn our faces to Heaven and our hearts towards God to seek after Him for His healing power to cover us in this time of desperation. We can plead the Blood of Jesus with our loudest voices, but we have to understand that this goes deeper beneath the surface because this is a heart issue. So, repentance is in order.
When we look at Ninevah in the Book of Jonah, we see how God was willing to extend His mercy and grace to a heathen people when they repented of their sin (Jon. 3:4-10). Could it be possible that if we, as a global community, would turn our faces to Heaven and our hearts to God in wholehearted repentance that He would hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land (1 Kgs. 8:39; 2 Chr. 7:12-16)? All things become possible when we place them in God’s hands and trust Him to have our best interests in mind (Mt. 19:26; Prov. 3:5-7; Jer. 29:10-14). As the people of God, I can now ask each one of us to seriously consider if this all sounds familiar? If we are being completely honest with ourselves and each other, we must answer by saying, “Yes”.