AS we struggle with the moral and spiritual chaos that seems to characterize life today, the promise that God will bring healing to the land (2 Chronicles 7:14) looks attractive. Is this a verse on which Christians should base efforts at national renewal? In answering that question, it is important to notice that God was speaking to Israel, as indicated by the phrase, “My people who are called by My name” (2 Chronicles 6:5-6, 33). Israel enjoyed a special covenant relationship with the Lord that no other nation has ever had. The words of the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:12–22), of which the promise of healing the land was a part, were essentially a restatement of the covenant (Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 29).
It was not long after Solomon’s death that this conditional promise saw its first test. Solomon’s successor Rehoboam turned away from the Lord. As a result, God raised up the Egyptians to attack Israel. However, when Rehoboam and the leaders of Israel humbled themselves and turned back to God, the Lord heard their prayers and partially delivered them from the threat of the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 12:1–12).
How, then, should Christians today regard this promise of God? It related directly to Israel. Does it relate at least indirectly to believers today? Yes, but only to a certain degree. Unlike Israel, Christians have not been called as a nation. Therefore, God’s promise of healing the land cannot be applied universally to all national and international arenas of public life today. Nevertheless, the principle still applies that when believers humble themselves by praying and confessing their individual and corporate sins, God hears them, forgives their sins, and brings a measure of healing (James 4:7–10).