I have written on the misapplication of 2 Ch 7:14 before, but when I see a whole local Baptist conference trying to apply this verse to the Church in America I think it is the duty of those who know better to correct that false presumption.
Sometimes Christians will use a few words of scripture or a verse or even a passage to support a position but then if you check out their position against what the scripture actually says you see that either they never read the context or they do not have understanding of the passage. Therefore they misapply it.
Pastors and teachers usually have formal training. They should have been taught proper exegesis so when 2 Ch 7:14 is submitted to a whole local conference as an application for the American Church to practice it leaves me scratching my head and writing articles like this one.
Also, if church leaders are going to make 2 Ch 7:14 an application for Christians in America, then really carry out what it says. Don’t make some pretense that your church is complying with 2 Ch 7:14 through a few minutes of prayer.
I do not doubt the good intentions of most of those that misapply this scripture. Nevertheless, ignorance is no excuse for our formally trained pastors. They were taught principles of exegesis in Bible college. They are suppose to be trained leaders and not followers. They should not be following popular presumptions and promoting them just because it was presented to them from a well meaning Christian. I know the misapplication of 2 Ch 7:14 is also all over the Christian airwaves, so I am sure it will be playing at a place near you, if it has not already.
Here is the misapplied scripture that I speak of.
2 Ch 7:14 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.
2 Ch 7:14 is not talking about the lands where Christians dwell. If Christians would learn to read scripture in its proper context there would not be a plague of false presumption in the Church. I will now post the passage from where this verse comes from and you can then read the context for yourself.
2 Ch 7:11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected.
12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.
13 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;
14 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.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
17 And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments;
18 Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel.
19 But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.
21 And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?
22 And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.
Christians are using one verse of this passage to make a presumption that is nowhere implied in this passage. The passage is not saying that God will heal the land of Christians in Gentile nations if they just do what it says in verse fourteen. The passage in context is clear. The passage is talking about blessings and curses on the nation of Israel and the house of sacrifice for sin that Solomon built.
When the nation of Israel is in sin, Solomon is told by God that it will be reflected by a curse on the land of Israel. God then tells Solomon that Israel can remove the curse and receive a healing of the land if they follow His decree to humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways. They would then present sacrifice offerings for their sin at the Temple that Solomon built and it would be accepted and the land would be healed. The last part of the passage is a prophecy saying that Israel will reject the God of Israel and serve other gods. For that reason God says Israel would be scattered among the nations. That all happened as God said.
From that context how do some people find some Christian application for America here? If Christians in America are going to apply scriptures any way they want, no wonder that so many are following the latest wind of doctrine that tickles their fancy. If Christians are going to selectively pick a verse and force fit it to support some presumption, truth becomes whatever the person doing it wants it to be. That is how some modern Christian teachers mislead millions of Christians. They look through countless Bible versions and paraphrases in order to find just one verse that might seem to support a prosperity, pop psychology, successful living, positive confession concept or some other crap that they are teaching.
Some will then say, The Bible says that all scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Sure it is, but that fact does not do away with proper exegesis. Passages that are ripped out of context to make it fit some false application for living today is not properly discerning the scriptures.
Using 2 Ch 7:14 as many in America now do does not even make logical sense. Do Christians have a land that needs to be healed? Last I heard Christians died with Christ and our home is in Heaven. Our land does not need to be healed. It would be more appropriate but still wrong exegesis for Christians to apply 2 Ch 7:14 to the spiritual healing of the many backsliders in the Church. The problem in true Christianity is not the physical land our bodies occupy, and the problem in America is not the true Christians (My people).
I do not know how many times I have heard this passage used to imply that America was once a Christian nation and if the Church just did what 2 Ch 7:14 said, that God would restore America back to being a Christian nation. I have news. America was never a Christian nation. There were and are Christians in America but there are no Christian nations on earth.
Most of the people alive today who claim America was Christian must have lived in Christian rural areas because America was certainly not Christian in Buffalo New York where I grew up, or in any other big city. Have people making these claims even read American history? There have always been Christians influencing America but America was never a Christian nation. America was always a nation that had religious roots that came from the Bible but so did much of the modern world.
No doubt that moral laws allowed America to be blessed, no doubt that Christians had great influence in America, no doubt that most in America identified with some Christian domination and still do, no doubt that America was blessed so that Christians missionaries could get out the gospel to some of the world, no doubt that America was blessed because it blessed the Jews, but blood washed born from above Spirit baptized Christians were never a majority in America, at least not in the last 200 years.
If you want to go back to when America was based more on the rule of law influenced by the Bible, fine. But, you do not get back there by Christians humbling themselves and praying and turning from their own wicked ways while all the Christian pretenders and all the heathen in America are progressively getting more and more perverse.
Also, do these people really think that a couple of minutes of prayer in church is “humbling yourself and praying, seeking His face and turning from their wicked ways”? If this passage really applies to the Church then the call should be for the whole Church to fast in sackcloth and ashes. Try promoting that in your church instead of a couple of minutes of prayer and see what response you get?
It is rather strange that some think that God will heal a land that was abundantly taught about the God of the Bible but chose to largely reject Him. God generally does not even heal the lands where Christians are actually under persecution and thus are in the will of God, so why would He do it in America? God does not materially bless Gentile nations based on the repentance of the repented. Some nations like Japan, Norway, Finland, etc., where most people do not even believe in God are doing quite well materially. There simply is no trite 2 Ch 7:14 formula that makes Gentile nation prosper. God has His own purposes for the rise and fall of Gentile nations.
This whole passage was written to the natural nation of Israel and it cannot be applied to the Church. That is the plain truth of the context.
I also find it ironic that Christians would think that God would bless our nation just because Christians go forward to pray at the “altar” (as if the front part of the building is the sanctuary instead of the people in the building being the sanctuary of God) or pray in their pews but take little or no action to correct the continual ever progressing corruption of our nation. The real reason for America’s decline is that evil is allowed to prevail.
Why are Christians sacrificing their children on the altars of Moloch in public schools? Why do they allow their kids to watch the trash on various kinds of medias? In fact, why do they often lead them to spiritual destruction through their own bad examples? You should get the picture. Most Christians need to take action if they want a better America. It is just a easy cop-out for Christians to believe that a few minutes of prayer will change the hearts of Americans and somehow heal this land. If we can no longer convert Americans to Christ there is no hope for America. Many of those unconverted Americans even attend our churches but in most they never hear the gospel. They also are accommodated in their sin in many of our churches so why should they repent?
Let’s face it, America is becoming increasingly cursed because the people that make up America are becoming increasingly hedonistic, selfish, covetous, lazy deadbeats. Most could care less about God or their neighbor. I think it is a delusion for Christians to pray for America to return to God when most Americans freely choose to have nothing to do with Him. It is also very misguided, if not sinful, to pray that God will heal our land when He is the very one that is cursing it because of the ongoing rebellion against Him. In the judgment of any nation perhaps some will repent and turn toward God. If that is the case with America, we do not want to be praying in opposition to God’s will.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.