Worldwide epidemics are scary. Thousands are dead, hundreds more are being infected, and it seems that this could be just the beginning. It’s no wonder many are panicking, hoarding and hunkering down.
But what about God? Is He just watching His children suffer? What about peace and hope? Are they lost in the fray of unknowns? If God is real and the Bible is true, we should find answers in God’s word.
In 2 Chronicles chapters six and seven we read the account of King Solomon dedicating the Holy Sanctuary, God’s House. In chapter six verse twenty-eight through thirty, Solomon makes his petition before God:
“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemies besiege them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing his own affliction and his own sorrow and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear from heaven your dwelling place and forgive…”
In the beginning of chapter seven, the glory of God comes in a cloud and inhabits the House. Verse twelve continues with God speaking:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 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.”
God has promised healing if we repent and turn back to Him! God lays out very specific instructions. We must:
- Humble ourselves, recognizing that we are not God, not in control and not able to bring healing, hope or peace on our own.
- Pray and seek God’s face, getting to know Him and desiring to be with Him.
- Turn from our wicked ways, acknowledging that His ways are better than ours.
- Stretch out our hands towards God’s House in Jerusalem, affirming that we are praying to the God of Israel, the One who will bring redemption to the entire world.
At this point, as a Christian you may be asking, “Didn’t Yeshua (Jesus) do away with praying towards Jerusalem? Haven’t things changed since Solomon built the Temple?” Once again, Scripture has answers:
“And they came to Jerusalem. And He [Yeshua] entered the Temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the Temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, ‘Is it not written, ‘My House shall be called a House of prayer for all the nations’?” (Mark 11:15-17)
Yeshua believed and taught that the House of God was indeed to be a place where everyone from every nation could pray towards. One day the nations would pray in faith, knowing, as God had promised to king Solomon, that their prayers would be answered!
The amazing thing is, King Solomon specifically mentions the nations (non-Jews) in His prayer of dedication for the Temple.
“Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name’s sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name.” (1 Kings 8:41-43)
And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” (1 Kings 9:3)
The Feast of Passover is coming soon. The Children of Israel were humbled through slavery, and they sought God with bitter tears. God heard their prayers and gave them the faith to turn away from pagan Egypt, and with His mighty right hand of deliverance, He set them in the direction of the Promised Land.
This Passover season, with sickness plaguing the land, may God give us the strength to truly repent – to remove the leaven from our lives. May He give us the wisdom to acknowledge Him in all our ways and to allow Him to direct our path towards His Holy Hill. May we see His mighty right hand of salvation and deliverance in our day! Amen.