Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hear, Forgive

2Chronicles 6:19, 21 - Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O LORD my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You...And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.

I'll say it over and over, what has occurred in the past will happen again. The Bible shows us this is true. If prophetic words in the Old Testament predicted the coming of Jesus, the Savior of the world, then it makes sense that events of the past would happen as a guide and reminder of the great things God does for His people.

Solomon had just completed building the Temple of God. He gathered all the people and directed a heartfelt prayer to the LORD. If only all people would understand this. He is merciful, but we need to seek that mercy not just assume He "will understand."

In Chronicles 6 Solomon's prayer consisted of seven major prayer points. If or when the people have sinned, yet they seek Him for forgiveness, then hear their supplications and forgive them.

  • If anyone sins against his neighbor, pray that He would hear and act and judge.
  • If His people are defeated in battle because they have sinned against Him, yet confess their sin, may He hear and forgive.
  • When the rains cease because they have sinned against God yet pray and confess His name, may He hear and forgive.
  • When the land is filled with sickness, blight or enemy attack, if they seek God, then may He hear and forgive.
  • If a stranger should come into the land seeking and praying to God, may He hear and do likewise to him as to His own people.
  • When a battle arises and His people must fight, if they seek His assistance may He maintain their cause.
  • When they sin against Him, yet repent, pray and turn to God with whole hearts and souls, may He hear and forgive.

Everything revolves around God. He created and brought us to life. He knows the beginning from the end and if we want to be part of the glorious end...which we cannot fathom in our human minds could be better...we are called to take serious the things of God. That includes the mandate that we are to submit our lives to the authority of Jesus Christ by receiving His free gift of salvation, to become born again in the Spirit, not the flesh, to spend time in the Word learning the things of God, our real purpose here on earth and in this life.

This means we must do as the people have done, which is recorded in the Bible: know that we are all sinners, seek God, repent of our sins, receive Christ...and He will hear and forgive. If one never does this, He will not hear, nor forgive.

It is a sad misconception that everyone when they die will go to heaven because God is a good God and how could He not allow it if He loves everyone. I'm sure He grieves a lot over those who will not turn to Him before death, who are stubborn in their views, rebellious in nature and just plain hateful toward Him. These people have been fed lies from a very real, spiritual, enemy. Scripture says we do not battle with flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil of this dark world and in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). Just because we can't see this doesn't mean it isn't happening around us. It's why there is evil in the world...and sin.

But, the Good News is Jesus Christ is also real. Satan is our adversary; the opposite of an adversary is friend and Jesus is called our Friend (not that He is a familial type friend. He still demands respect, reverence). But we can call on Him as the people of the Old Testament called on God. If we are sincere in that call, He will hear and forgive. Doesn't get much better than that.

1John 1:8-10 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

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