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2 chronicles 7 – december 7, 2011

Click here to read II Chronicles 7 on BibleGateway.com

Today’s chapter is one of the most quoted chapters in churches around the world, especially in America. In particular, everyone seems to love vs 14: 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. We love to quote that one at times of repentance and at basically every youth convention known to man. Still, good verse.

However, let’s look today at a lesser quotified section of the chapter, namely verses 19-22. Often times, we focus on quoting the positive promises of God, i.e. “will heal their land”. But we typically neglect the negative aspects of this promise; if we don’t follow God’s commands, he promises that those actions will have repurcussions too, which are less healy and more beat-down-with-a-whupping-stick-y.

2 SIDES OF THE COIN

This chapter highlights the two aspects of God that we all struggle to keep in perspective: his simultaneous complete loving-kindness and his holiness. God is Love; he is the definition of Love; without Him there is no Love to speak of in the universe. Yet he is also Holy; he is the embodiment of perfection and goodness; there can be no darkness in him because he is 100% light. The fact that we like to focus more on the former and neglect the latter seems to be more a reflection of the kind of God we’d prefer to serve than a true representation of who God is.

Notice also in these ending verses that the “you” in the “if you turn away” is not talking to Solomon specifically. This is the pural “you”, as in “you people”. It’s a strange twist of English grammar that we have the same word for you-singular and you-plural; that’s pretty unique in the languages of the world, and can sometimes obscure our understanding of the Bible. In this instance, it means the same as “if my people” in the previous section. Once again, this highlights the dual aspect of the promises in this chapter. If we turn from evil and follow God, he will heal our land; if we do not, he will not.

BOTH HAPPENING AT THE SAME TIME

So the mindbending question of the day is: can you come to grips with the duality of God? That He is perfect Love and perfect Justice at the same time? That he is Father and Judge? Creator and Flooder? Coming to accept God as He is and not as we’d like Him to be is one of the hardest thing for our limited human minds to do.

Good thing we have a Son who helps us bridge the gap.

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