As election time grows near (or the 4th of July) one Biblical promise seems to come to the fore in many prayers and on signs and on bumper stickers. It is the promise found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which reads:
"If my people who are called by my name 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."
It is a beautiful promise that God makes to His people, Israel. But the question is, does this promise apply to us today? In other words, are we promised that if Christians in America will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways that God will bring spiritual healing and renewal to our land (America). The answer, I believe, is clearly "no."
Here is why: in the original promise "my people" is Israel. "Their land" is the land of Israel. If we then equate Israel with the church in this promise then what is the church's land? The church has no land as God's people did in the Old Testament.
We might also note that when God promises to heal the land in 2 Chronicles, He is not promising that spiritual renewal will take place but that the land will be physically healed from drought and pestilence:
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name . . . " (2 Chronicles 7:13-14a).
As much as we might hope, there is simply not a promise here that a nation will be spiritually healed if the church will repent.
Now that is not to say that there would countless, wonderful results if the church in America (me included!) would humble ourselves and turn from sin and seek the Lord. I believe there would be; but the promise of healing our land does not belong to us (or any other country. Think of the church in Saudi Arabia or Iran or South Sudan. Are the believers there humbled and seeking the Lord? Probably much more than us).