HEAR, FORGIVE, HEAL
II Chronicles 7:14
INTRODUCTION: This Fall we are studying what it means to be revived again according to the Bible. We will be studying some of the great revivals in the Bible, but right now we are studying that great verse in the Bible that tells us what we must do so that God can come and restore us to Himself. This is our 4th lesson on II Chronicles 7:14. We have seen that we must humble ourselves that we must pray and seek his face, and that we must turn from our wicked ways. For some of you those three lessons we tough, and maybe even seemed a little harsh. But they were and are necessary lessons for us to learn if we intend to be found faithful to God and for God to work in a mighty way in our lives. Today we will finish with the last thing that God says in II Chronicles 7:14. But first let’s begin with a story. A wife took her very ill husband to see the doctor. And after an extensive array of tests the doctor asked to speak to the wife privately and asked the husband to leave the room. So the husband went out into the foyer, and the wife asked, "So what is it Doctor?" The doctor said, "It is very serious. There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that if things stay the way they are your husband has one week to live. The Good news is that if you will pamper him, rub his feet every morning and rub his back every night, bring him 3 home cooked meals to bed each day. If you will take care of him, and be as affectionate as you were when you first married, take him to play golf, and get some fresh air, he might last another year." She said, "Ok." Then went out to where her husband was waiting. When she walked up her husband asked, "Well what did the doctor say?" The doctor said, "You got a week to live."
I. HEAR FROM HEAVEN
A. God does not hear a sinner’s prayer? Misunderstanding of John 9:31 and other passages. There is a big difference between sin and rebellion, and God does not hear the pleas of a rebellious person. Hear vs. Heed - pay attention to, act upon.
B. God is not removed from our plight. He is not aloof and unconcerned about our sins and their consequences. That is why He always responds when His people honestly seek Him. Hebrew word used in II Chronicles 7;14 means understand, hear with attention, grant request.
C. When we come to God in humility, earnestness and penitence God will hear, heed and act upon our plea.
1. Isaiah 59:2
2. Micah 3:4
3. Psalm 10:17
4. Jeremiah 29:11-13
5. Psalm 102:17
6. Zechariah 13:9
II. FORGIVE THEIR SINS
A. The one thing we all need is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the absolution of a debt, the wiping away, the blotting out of that which is held against us. God can only forgive when we humble ourselves, pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways.
B. God will not forgive a rebellious heart. Yet He will forgive a burdened heart. And when God forgives, He forgives completely. There are no recriminations, no lingering guilt or stains. When we go to Him sincerely seeking His forgiveness we are granted a cleansing as white as snow.
1. Psalm 32:1,2; 103:12; 130:1-8
2. Lamentations 3:41ff
3. Jeremiah 50:20
4. Hebrews 8:12
III. HEAL THEIR LAND
A. There is a natural order to how God responds to the heartfelt plea of His people. He hears their anguished cry, He forgives their every transgression, and then He heals their land.
B. Sinful rebellion is a reproach to any nation of people, especially to those who are called by His name. Because of unconfessed sins God’s people were wounded over and over again by plagues, pestilence and pagan peoples. These wounds ran deep into every facet of their lives. Their families were destroyed, their crops decimated and their lives torn asunder. Yet, every time they awoke from their sin-inflicted punishment and called upon His name God always responded with healing.
C. Sin always hurts. It always inflicts pain and injury. More often than not the wounds run deep, down to our very soul. And it is a self-inflicted injury. We chose sin and this brought upon ourselves the pain and anguish that goes along with it.
D. But God can close those wounds. The Hebrew word used in II Chronicles 7:14 as "heal" means physician, healer of nations.
1. Job 5:18
2. Psalm 6:2; 103:3; 147:3
3. Isaiah 53:5
4. Jeremiah 3:22; 33:6