After Solomon completed the temple in Jerusalem, after the celebration and dedication, the Lord appeared to Him with a message. (Read 2 Chronicles 7 to understand the context.) In this message, God promised to forgive those who humble themselves and repent of their sins.
If my people who are called by my name 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 heal their land . . . but if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them.
2 Chronicles 7:14,19,20
There is a caveat to God’s promise of forgiveness. If the people filled the land with sin and worshipped false gods, He promised to uproot them from the land and destroy the temple. Four hundred plus years later the temple was destroyed and a majority of Israel’s citizens were taken captive by the Babylonians. God eventually judges those who persist in sinful practices; not individuals only, nations as well. The length of time it took for judgment to materialize is a testament to God’s patience and kindness.
In 2012 Billy Graham wrote: “Today America is following a dangerous path. We worship the gods of secularism and materialism. God is displeased, and I warn you that His anger is being kindled. If ever a nation has enjoyed prosperity and the blessing of God, it is America; but instead of giving thanks to God, we have offered our reverence and worship to created things.”(1)
North America has been unusually blessed. Our freedom and prosperity are gifts from God. Are we thankful to Him? Or do we worship the gods of materialism? Let us turn to God with our whole hearts because at some point His patience will end (Romans 1:24).
God, grant that our nation will acknowledge your goodness and turn from evil.
National Repentance is an excerpt from Rooted, Rose McCormick Brandon’s soon-to-be published devotional.
(1) Billy Graham, Decision Magazine, 2012