by Frank Paul
2 Chronicles 7:14 states: “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Is it possible that this Scripture verse written between 743 to 461 B.C., still has relevance today? When we look at the entirety of 1 and 2 Chronicles written between 1279 to 461 B.C., and possibly compiled by Isaiah and Ezra between 743 to 461 B.C., we are reading words written some 3,000 years ago. A long time, yes; but in God’s time, no. His Word is His word, regardless of when it was written; and we are to still obey it no matter when or where we hear or learn of it. Of course culture has changed; what would not change over the span of three millennia? Jesus has arrived by now and fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. God instructed us 3,000 years ago to follow His commands, then He sent His Son 2,000 years ago to remind us, because society at that time had clearly forgotten; and now in 2022 I dare say it might be time for another reminder. God always gives His children an escape route from pending disaster if we will just follow His commandments. It is not within our prerogative to tweak His commandments simply because they no longer correspond to our feelings as to how we should be able to live in our present culture. We follow His commandments, we live by His direction, period. For far too many decades in this country we have been bending His rule of law to placate, quite frankly, a minority of people.
Solomon expressed this sentiment in Psalm 119:152, “Long ago I learned from your decrees, that you have established them forever.” Forever means forever, up to and including 2022.
Ezekiel was also used as a conduit for God’s words when he wrote in 33:5, “Since he heard the sound of the trumpet, but ignored the warning, his death is his own fault.” His death is his own fault; that brings it home. Harsh, perhaps; but true.
Our 80 years or so of living pales in comparison to eternity. In the 1850s Charles Spurgeon was also urging us to obey God’s commands when he wrote, “The words God spoke thousands of years ago are true at this hour.”
Present-day pastor, James Merritt states, “Our soul is going to reside somewhere after our physical death. Your life will intersect with the cross sooner or later, one way or the other – either on your way up, or on your way down.” Pastor Merritt’s words mirror 2 Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body; whether good or evil.”
The words of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and the words of Jesus in 2 Corinthians 5:10 are strikingly similar in their instruction and command, as are the words of Charles Spurgeon in the 1800s and Pastor Merritt in 2022.
We are stubborn and resistant today: we want it our way; but this is not a new phenomenon. Even the 1st century disciples started to wonder about Jesus’ teachings and Jesus had to reel them back in by stating, “Truly I tell you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” John 8:51.
We are offered help in navigating through life, by the creator of life itself: God; and then His Son, Jesus; with bonus help from the Holy Spirit. Do not be so proud as to not take what is freely offered. Has it worked out for us today where we have everyone just doing their own thing, believing in their version of what is right or wrong? Unequivocally I would state no, it has not.
3,000 year old Scripture, 2,000 year old Scripture, modern day pastors all echo the same underlying theme: follow God’s commandments and your life will work out for the best. Nowhere does it say in Scripture, nor have I ever read or heard anywhere, that this will be the most popular approach to life. Conversely, Scripture warns us that we will be scorned and persecuted; that is why many do not follow His Commandments, because it is easier not to and go along with the crowd. Charles Spurgeon had something to say about crowds: “You will never go to heaven in a crowd.” Pointed and direct, but well stated.
If your heart is inclined to listen to Jesus and have a relationship with Him and His Father, or you are at least trying to work on that relationship, then follow their instructions; see where it takes you.
Life can be challenging and difficult at times. Don’t you think Jesus knew it would be? Of course He did. That is why He told His followers in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
You should read that again. We all have someone who loves us so much and will take our burden as His own to give us rest. What a friend, what a Savior. I am going to follow His ways and see where it leads me. My hope and prayer are that you will do the same.
3,000 year old Scripture still relevant today, those are truly God breathed words.
“God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.” – Mother Teresa
KJV – King James Version
CSB -Christian Standard Bible
NIV – New International Version
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