“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Since I was a young boy, I remember learning that Scripture in Sunday School and being taught at an early age that America should follow the example of ancient Israel, and pray it for our country. But very recently I have come across teachings from various ministries that have adopted an “Israel only” stance to this verse of Scripture; saying that no one but Israel has a right to the promise in this Scripture.
An article that I recently read stated that Christians are in error praying 2 Chronicles 7:14, because the Scripture in its proper context is meant for the nation of Israel only. I completely disagree with this belief, and in fact think it borders on heresy and false doctrine. The writer was giving his opinion and interpretation concerning 2 Chronicles 7:14, and did not supply substantial scriptural validation to justify his belief that the Scripture is a covenant promise only to the nation of Israel (Scripture always validates Scripture).
He is committing the mistake that so many believers do—making an assumption and presumption about Scripture to justify his beliefs. This is how false doctrines, false teachings, and cults get started. Unless the covenant promises in the Word (which there are many for Israel) state emphatically and unequivocally that they are for the nation of Israel only, then the entirety of the Word of God (Genesis to Revelation) is for everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord.
The Word of God states plainly what we are to know and believe, and no one has to make presumptions about what the Lord God is saying to all of mankind in His Holy Word. There is no guesswork in it. According to the writer of the article, Christians are taking 2 Chronicles 7:14 out-of-context. The fact is, no one would come up with this understanding from reading this Scripture, but only those giving THEIR interpretation that the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is only for the nation of Israel.
The verse starts out “If My people.” There’s no doubt that Israel is in fact “God’s people.” But the Body of Christ is also the people of God:
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9).
“Who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
If 2 Chronicles 7:14 had started with, “If the nation of Israel who are called by My Name….” or “If the children of Israel who are called by My Name…” then there would be no doubt whatsoever that the Lord God was speaking to the nation of Israel ONLY in this Scripture.
I’m going to play devil’s advocate. Let’s say that Christians who are “Israel only” in regard to 2 Chronicles 7:14 are correct, and that it is a covenant promise only for the nation of Israel; and Christians do not have a right to pray it or claim it for their nations, cities, families, or homes. According to them, we need to read it in its “proper context.”
I want to reflect on the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Even though these four books are in what we call the New Testament, in actuality they should be a part of the Old Testament, because the New Covenant (Testament) did not start until the book of Acts, AFTER the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
With that in mind, the Lord Jesus said to the twelve apostles in Matthew 10:6:
“Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”
And in Matthew 15:24 He said:
“I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
In Matthew chapters 5 and 6, the Lord is preaching and teaching to a multitude of Jews (along with His disciples) the Beatitudes, the Lord’s prayer, and telling them not to worry about their needs because the Heavenly Father will take care of them. Every Christian I know believes that the words of our Lord in these chapters are for ALL believers.
But if we follow the example set by the “2 Chronicles 7:14 Israel only” believers, we need to look at these verses “in context.” That means these chapters aren’t promises for the Body of Christ, but for the nation of Israel. That’s who the Lord is addressing in Matthew 5 and 6, so we as the church can’t lay claim to them, according to the scriptural analyses of “Israel only” believers.
Another example is John 14:1-3:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
The Lord Jesus Christ is addressing the eleven disciples here (minus Judas Iscariot), but the Body of Christ believes that He meant it for everyone who has accepted Him as Savior. But once again, if we follow the “Israel only” crowd’s scriptural interpretation of applying Scripture properly “in context” then these verses were only for the eleven apostles that the Lord was addressing at that time.
Now I know that someone might say that I’m taking this to an extreme, but if we are to follow the “applying Scripture in context” analysis of Israel only believers, then it must be applied to every verse in the Bible. We can’t make exceptions.
“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).
And 2 Peter 1:20 says: “No prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation.”
Those who espouse to the “Israel only” position have presented their own interpretation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 without any Scriptures to validate their belief.
2 Corinthians 13:2 says:
“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”
If this Scripture was for Israel only, the Lord would have let us know PLAINLY with no chance for presumption.
I’m going to present the following hypothesis:
What if President Obama and his cabinet, Congress, the Defense Department, Justice Department, and all state government leaders came together on national TV in repentance and humility, and said that they realize our nation has completely turned away from God. What if they had Bibles in their hands, and they said we are going to reverse every law that is against the Word of God. Suppose they said that we will no longer be a nation that says “In God We Trust” but we will be a nation that says “In the Lord Jesus Christ We Trust.” Then they said we are going to follow what God spoke to Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14. And the entire USA, as a whole, repents and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.
And in response to the national repentance of the United States, YHWH God would say:
That’s wonderful America that you have finally repented and turned from your wicked ways and humbled yourselves to follow Me. But you know what…I can’t heal your land from the famines, extreme weather patterns, pestilences, and droughts that you’ve been experiencing because you aren’t My covenant people Israel. When I spoke that to King Solomon, it was only for the nation of Israel.
Does anyone honestly believe that God the Father would respond in that manner?
In conclusion, it is very dangerous to pick and choose, based on presumption and assumption, which Scriptures are for Israel and which are for anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Unless it is CLEARLY STATED in the Word that the promise is for Israel only, then we must stick to what it says and not add our own interpretation. The Word of God says what it means and means what it says.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
The United States of America is in the worst condition (morally and spiritually) that it has ever been in since its inception. If there were ever a time that we need to humble ourselves and pray…IT IS NOW!
Will the USA turn around and repent?
To be completely honest with you, I personally think we have reached a point of no return. But only our Heavenly Father knows exactly what will happen to this nation. And it is still our responsibility to pray for this nation in spite of how bad things are.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12).
“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).