“And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 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 will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place” (2 Chronicles 7:12-15).
“Everywhere in His Word God conditions His actions on prayer. His actions and attitude are shaped by prayer. Man has personal relations with God. Prayer is the divinely appointed means by which man comes into direct connection with God. By His own ordinance God holds Himself bound to hear prayer.
When Solomon closed his great prayer which he offered at the dedication of the Temple, God appeared to him, approved him, and laid down the universal principles of His action” (E. M. Bounds (1835-1913), On Prayer).
Notice in the text, that one of the judgments from God upon a sinful people or nation is “pestilence” (i. e. disease). America, along with many other countries, is experiencing a pestilence epidemic know as Coronavirus. Some may scoff at the idea of it being God’s judgment, but no believer should discount the possibility. Especially when we consider the abortion, immorality, anger, rebellion, self-centeredness, and rejection of Jesus Christ and the word of God that is the real plaque in our nation.
If then, this is the judgment of God, I hope you agree with me that we need God to do something! But if we want Him to do something, we must also face the fact that there’s something for us to do.
While, of course, we do want to take necessary precautions to prevent the disease from spreading and wait on medical science to come up with a vaccine to protect us, but the real answer to abating the epidemic lies in the formula given by God to Solomon, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and …”
While this promise was made specifically to the nation Israel, God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, it is a promise that can be claimed by God’s chosen people of the New Testament; those who have shown “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thereby being called “Christian.”
To truly be a Christian is to be born again through a personal belief and profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection in satisfying God’s penalty for sin, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Jesus said, to His disciples, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew5:13, 14).
In other words, we who profess Christ, are to, in all humility and repentance, on our own behalf and on behalf of our nation, approach “the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (see Hebrews 4:14-16).
Roy Delia is pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.