Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven probable national needs. In each case, he interceded for God’s people by seeking God’s commitment to ‘hear from heaven and forgive their sin’– if they would repent.
In II Chronicles 6: 32-33, King Solomon departed from praying on behalf of ‘God’s people’ to praying for ‘non-citizens’ who had come to their land because of their desire to know God and to experience His blessings. He said, “Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray….” By its uniqueness, this passage is instructive in noting that Solomon included the ‘stranger’ in his series of prayers. He knew that nations have a responsibility not only to their citizens but also to non-citizens and that the failure to treat the stranger justly would bring judgment, as indicated in Ezek. 22: 29, “The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger.”
At stake is the justice of God based on the value of human life and the duty of civil government to enact biblical justice for all. Yet, Solomon perceived that due to the sin of the nation and the resultant distortion of justice as he prayed in II Chron. 6:22, justice to the foreigner may not occur, and for the sake of the testimony of God Himself, he asks God to vindicate the foreigner and accept them.
From the beginning of our nation, we’ve welcomed the poor and downtrodden from all over the world who’ve come with the intent to work hard and assume the duties of a citizen. But now, rather than duty or biblical justice being the guide, immigration policy is based on political leverage and political advantage. Immigrants are abused by reducing them to pawns in the political process where benefits are given as bribes for their votes rather than for their long-term good. Instead of encouraging honesty and hard work, our national policies encourage dishonesty and dependency on the ‘god’ of government.
An unjust governmental system that denies hope, wrongfully rewards wrong behavior or discourages productive behavior is indeed ‘oppressive’ and will incur God’s judgment. Solomon prays, “Then hear from heaven… and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do your people….” While some might not recognize that unjust national immigrant policies are an evil worthy of judgment, Solomon knew that God did. Solomon’s next and last prayer assumes God’s final judgment and completes his effort to intercede for his nation, setting the stage for God’s answer and His recipe for national judgment in II Chron. 7:14.
This is the seventh article in 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”.