We are nearing the finish line. The elections for the President of the United States and other important posts will soon be over and we will breathe a collective sigh of relief regardless of which candidate was favored. If you’re like me the whole election hype is exhausting – the debating, the arguing, the nail biting. Leading up to the elections many people faithfully pray for our nation and the election’s outcome. At a time of national transition many call to mind 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says; “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 was 1974 and I was part of the opening event of the Seattle Kingdome, singing in the volunteer choir at the Billy Graham Crusade. That was when I first became acquainted with 2 Chronicles 7:14, beautifully set to music. And since music is a great vehicle for memorization it has stuck with me all these years.
As I’ve considered this verse I noticed some things. I like to skip some parts of the verse and jump to God’s promise at the end – the part where he says he will hear from heaven and heal our land. I like the idea of God making everything better so we can be comfortable and secure like fixing our economic troubles and protecting us from terrorist attacks. But he puts the important stuff first: If my people (who?) it doesn’t have to be everybody, just those who are called by his name. Shall humble themselves (what?, me get off my high horse?) and pray (okay, sure I can do that), and seek my face (hmmm, this is getting serious) and turn from their wicked ways (wicked, me!? ). Actually applying the verse – personalizing it is harder than just quoting it, singing it or praying about it.
Not too many years ago the Kingdome was imploded. Apparently it had come to the end of its usefulness and was replaced with something else. Being humble and honest before God is imperative to remaining useful. I want to be part of an infusion that strengthens our society, not part of its implosion.
Prayer leading up to the elections is good but its not the end. The admonition of 2 Chronicles 7:14 applies regardless of who is elected and continues long afterwards. So keep praying! The policies made by the leaders of a nation are important. But the true health and vigor of any society comes ultimately from the hand of God as he responds to the faithfulness of his people.