Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. Every time, he besought God’s commitment to ‘hear from heaven and forgive their sin’- if the people would repent. In II Chron. 6: 28-30, Solomon prayed, “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear from heaven… and forgive….”
Here, Solomon anticipated a more intense judgment than drought. He broadened the impact on his nation to shortages of food, hardship and death due to weather, insects, and diseases affecting plants, livestock and people. By describing this broad range of judgment in terms of “whatever plague or whatever sickness,” he recognized the undefinable but significant impacts that result from personal and national sin. In America, we’ve seen record-setting deadly tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, drought, earthquakes, floods, snow, cold weather and now a disease that’s already killed over a million baby pigs. We shake our heads and wonder what’s going on. On one hand, some would dismiss all that we are witnessing as nothing really out of the ordinary, or dismiss it for some other reason, but Solomon clearly connected the marks of judgment with the sin of the nation, and so should we.
Then, with even more focus and in the middle of this series of natural disasters, Solomon identified enemy attacks on cities within the nation. In application to the United States, wasn’t 9-11 an undeniable evidence of the enemy besieging our cities? Shouldn’t 9-11 have been a more long-lasting wake-up call for America than just a few weeks or months after the event? Properly considered, this event was evidence that God had lifted His hedge of protection from around our nation. God gave us a stark warning. But did we hear? For our leaders and most Americans, the rally cry was, “We will rebuild and we will attack our enemies.” Not understanding that the attack was allowed by God to get our attention, our country went further from Him. How ironic. We seek answers to our increasing hardships but we haven’t yet turned to God or taken consideration of the sin that is causing God’s anger and judgment.
May we learn from Solomon’s prayer that led to God’s response in II Chron. 7:13-14. May we understand the extent to which God is giving us warning upon warning.
This is the sixth article in an eight-part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.