Summary: Does America need economic reform or repentance? I believe, the answer is repentance. Adapted from a sermon by Pastor George Harris
As I listened to our president speaking on our economy, jobs and health care it occurred to me that the economy has been
one of our nation's major concerns, as it is right now. With Government shut downs credit ratings in danger and the like, we are in a crisis unlike any I have seen in my lifetime. What has happened to our nation? Let me show you something.
The parallel with Israel during the days of Solomon is astounding. Economic prosperity went hand in hand with godliness and obedience. Economic disaster followed idolatry and disobedience.
When God told Solomon to choose what he wanted most, Solomon chose wisdom. Because of his CHOICE…Because he did not choose riches and power, God granted his desire to become the wisest man who ever lived. Not only did God make him the smartest guy the world has ever known, He also allowed Solomon to complete the building of the magnificent temple that had been his father David's dream.
And yet, for all his wisdom and wealth, Solomon lacked what David had. See David was focused on doing the will of God.
At the dedication of the temple, God promised to bless Israel if they remained faithful, but IF they did not, He would uproot them from their land and cause the temple to be a scornful reminder of their disobedience.
Many years later, in his old age, Solomon remembered God's decree and realized that because he failed to follow God, Israel had suffered economic disaster.
The words written in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 are God's provisions for economic reform. They establish a formula based on moral
principles that supersedes mathematics and take precedence over politics and this formula is summed up in one word: Repentance! And it is the single hope for our country.
I. THE CONDITIONS
God no longer dwells in the temple that Solomon built. Since the Day of Pentecost, He has lived in the bodies of believers, whom He calls "temples of the Holy Spirit."
But it was different in Old Testament Israel. Because the Israelites were a nomadic nation of tent-dwellers, it
was Solomon's great desire to build a permanent and glorious place in which God could manifest His presence to
But after the building of the temple, Solomon's personal life as well as Israel's well-being went into a downward spiral as they began to worship idols and foreign gods. It didn’t take long to go from the pomp and ceremony and unbelievable riches of Solomon's greatest days to the poverty and economic disaster of the later years.
The plan for economic reform that God laid out for the nation is applicable to us today.
1. God's Plan Involved A Select People
When God said, "If MY people ... ," He was talking about those whom He had called out of Egypt, delivered to the Promised Land, and established as a nation. Today we could apply that term to believers, who know Him and are called according to His purpose.
2. God's Plan Involved A Special Purpose
That purpose has never changed; it is the same now as in Solomon's day:
2 Chronicles 6:33.“That all people of the earth may know Your name and fear You.”
What was hidden in the Old Testament was made known in the New - that it is His will that none should perish, but all should come to repentance. His children are human temples in whom His Holy Spirit dwells for the sublime purposes of communing with Him and being instruments of revelation to all peoples of the world.
3. God's Plan Involved A Specific Protection
God's covenant with His people included promises of protection in instances of swearing oaths, defeat, severe drought, disease, famine, pestilence, blight, foreigners in the land, war with enemies, and captivity.
In fact, almost any imaginable circumstance was included in God's comprehensive coverage.
4. God's Plan Involved A Precise Procedure
The first thing the Israelites were to do in order to qualify for this unlimited protection was to humble themselves.
Notice that God doesn't promise to hear from heaven when we get humble; He can humble us anytime He wants to.
If you've ever been humbled by God, you soon discover that you would rather humble yourself than have Him do it again.
James wrote in, James 4:6 that God opposes the proud, but gives grace - abundant, additional grace - to
those who willingly humble themselves. God requests His people to take the initiative in humbling. It's past time for our nation to do just that; we must no longer rely on scientific progress, military strength, or the ability of lawmaking bodies to deliver us.
We must humble ourselves before God, our Sovereign Deliverer.
After humbling themselves, God instructed the people to pray. Prayer is, in its simplest definition, communication with God.