June 2 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”
~2 Chronicles 7:15

One of the most cited verses in 2 Chronicles is found in today’s reading: “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” (2 Chron. 7:14). Imagine what an encouragement this must have been to those living in exile. God had not abandoned them! Going all the way back to the days of the famed Solomon, God had personally promised that if they turned to Him, He would restore them!

Some modern Christians have erroneously applied this verse to America. In fact, there is a long tradition among Americans of identifying the county as the “new Israel” (an expression that was sometimes used by early countrymen). Christians in other parts of the world find this boast puzzling (and that’s putting it kindly) as America’s unique heritage isn’t quite on par with Israel’s. Claiming God’s favor for a particular modern nation isn’t biblical; however, patriotism and prayers for blessing are both good things, whether we are a citizens of America, Canada, Britain, Kenya, etc. You could say that there is an indirect application for modern secular nations, but only in that a country’s Christians can (and should) follow the wisdom of this passage.

The great promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is for “my people”, the people of God, and it’s still in effect today. Sometimes we stray from His Word and we need renewal. When we, the people of God, turn from our unfaithfulness and seek His face, He not only will forgive us, He also will bless us. I think we are living in days when the Western church is greatly in need of revival. The prayer for God’s blessing can begin with us, right now, in our local church. Pray that God would renew us, restore us, and make His face to shine upon us in great ways as we turn to Him (Num. 6:24-25). Indeed, I want to be happy and to have God delight in me, as I am sure you do (2 Chron. 9:7-9). Let us commit our lives to following Him more faithfully; His ways are the best ways. So pray today for God’s blessing on us, His people, for our good and His glory.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.