2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us:
“If my people, who are called by my name…
can get the really bad sinners to turn from their wicked ways, then I will heal their land.”
No, that isn’t it.
… will rally and get the right candidate elected, then I will heal their land.”
… will be vocal enough to get those sinful Supreme Court rulings overturned, then I will heal their land.”
No… I couldn’t find any of those.
Instead, I found this:
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We’re in an election year, when, in my opinion, we don’t look our best. We’re so angry with the other side. We’re terrified about the state of the union.
And we’re very verbal about whose fault it is.
Whether it’s gay marriage, abortions, racism, gun violence, police brutality, government aid, or the poisoning of the environment, most of us think that something is causing our country to weaken so seriously that we may not be able to recover.
According to Ezra, we’re right.
There is a root cause of the deterioration of our country. And it’s the body attached to that finger we’re pointing.
2 Chronicles is clear. The Lord says He will heal our land if what? If His people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways.
According to this, God pulls away from a country because of the arrogance and self-righteousness of His own people.
The disciples stayed irritated with Jesus, because He wouldn’t speak out against Rome or talk political reform.
They wanted a political hero.
But He was too preoccupied with the hurting people and with God’s kingdom. It was very annoying to everybody.
We’re so much like the disciples whose question to Jesus, after his death and resurrection, was: are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?
Basically: is it finally time to talk politics?
Jesus could be frustratingly cryptic, but He was not vague about this: healing and holiness never come through the law. Not the Jewish law then nor the American law now.
If you want healing for America, the outcome of this election doesn’t matter. Neither Clinton nor Trump can address the evil and anger and fear in all of our hearts.
If you want healing for America (and if my Facebook newsfeed is to believed, then most of us passionately do), then no matter how you vote this election year, consider starting with prayer.
Not prayer for the election or prayer for everybody on welfare or prayer for or against Planned Parenthood or prayer about handguns.
Prayer for reform, not in the government, but in your own heart.
Prayer for help to turn away from your own sin.
Prayer for kindness to grow in our Christian communities, until people say that they may not agree with us, but they can’t deny that we’re the most gracious, helpful citizens America has. The best tippers. The most patient drivers. The most trustworthy employees. The fastest out of debt. The ones who never post anger or hate online.
This election season, consider being like Jesus – frustrating everyone because they can’t get you to talk politics.