If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; (2Chr. 7:13)
There were times when God's hand was heavy upon Israel, as noted in the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Though not Israel, we see elements of these physically in our land; and spiritually, they are apparently here, too. Rain often typifies the Word of God preached faithfully: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth ... (Isa 55:10-11a). Devouring locusts remind us of the pictures of false prophets (Rev. 9:3-11, esp. v.4, 11), and pestilence clearly presents a temporal judgment of God upon sin (2Sam 24:10,13-16). Putting all this together, what would such a land look like?
Well, you might find little to no faithful gospel preaching, family devotions, witnessing or evangelism. There would be, however, plenty of false religions (Mormons, JW, grace+works, Muslims), creation-worshippers (tree-huggers, "save the spotted owl"), or humanist worship of politics (e.g., this man will save the nation of our ills). You'd find a lot of judgment upon sin: people given up to sodomy (Rom 1:24), increase of sexually transmitted diseases upon fornicators and adulterers, mothers who abort with increased risk of breast cancer, self-serving rulers in various government positions, and kids killing kids at school. You may even find greater incidences of natural disasters – out of control wildfires, literal plagues of invasive insects, viruses, and so forth.
I find two wrong solutions will be attempted to resolve these matters. (1) The religious man whose solution does not rely upon God's Word. This individual will seek to make men feel good in or out of church by not saying anything offensive. (S)he'll seek growth by entertainment or hold kid programs at popular amusement parks. They'll build gymnasiums and heated pools. The goal is to numb the mind and excite the flesh, even if that means a scantily clad music director or a rock band borrowed from the local bar. Men will and do stoop to these means.
(2) Then there is unsaved man's solution to God's judgment on sin. He'll increase taxes to teach children about safe methods of fornication. He'll dump more money into scientific or medical research looking for a new vaccine or other technical solution. He'll increase security measures at airports, civic buildings, schools and grocery stores, while restricting and outlawing the ability to defend yourself. He truly believes that hand can join hand to resolve this by any means – as long as we keep God out of it. This, too, will fail.
Then there's God's solution: If 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. It begins with my people, called by My name. Those named "Christians" should humble themselves. Are we too proud? Who maketh thee to differ from another? (1Cor 4:7; cp Php 2:3-4). A proud man won't share the gospel. With humility comes a heart softened by the Word of God.
He exhorts His saints to pray. Not a 5-minute repetition, or our old standby prayer; but one as if you were about to appear before a powerful King. You would meditate ahead and prepare – actually give thought before you spoke. Pray with your head and your heart. You'd be honest and open. Pray with seriousness; give this some dedicated time. Don't use any articles of vanity (candles, special incense).
Third, we must seek His face. We're not looking for a vision, or Mary's tears in a statue or some special cloud formation. Jesus said Lo, I come in the volume of the book. We seek Him in His word, awaiting His illumination. And what shall we find? The face of God offers grace and peace, per Num. 6:25-26. Last, we must turn from our wicked ways. This means repent. We know if we've actually done the first 3 correctly, if obeying the 4th is relatively easy. A humble Christian, praying for faith and repentance will be granted his desire.
God indicates that He will hear us. How rare! He doesn't hear every man (Ps. 66:18). He will forgive (1Jn 1:8-9) and ... surprise! He will heal their land, blessing you with more gospel laborers, fewer false prophets, and a righteous rule growing stronger – maybe nationwide!
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