These are extraordinary times! Never before have we seen disasters as they're appearing throughout our world. We are literally witnessing the warnings that God made to King Solomon, at the dedication of the new temple, in 2 Chronicles 7:13. God said,
"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;"
He speaks of three conditions which can result from the sins of the nation. The absence of rain, produces drought. Not only have we experienced abnormal drought conditions in parts of the world that once flourished, even available water sources in parts of this country and others have become contaminated and unusable. One consequential effect of a drought is the proliferation of wildfires, and we're seeing a devastating increase of those.
God also spoke of commanding the locusts to devour the land, and at this present time, there are swarms of locust, stripping the fields of Africa. Millions of locust darken the sky as they bring destruction from one area to the next. The presence of locusts has always been the normal expectancy of those parts of Africa, but these are abnormal.
And finally, God spoke of sending pestilence among my people. The Oxford definition of pestilence is "a fatal epidemic disease", and that's exactly what we have in this coronavirus which has overdriven nearly every country on earth. Whatever number that's given of those currently infected or killed by covid-19 today, those numbers will have increased by the thousands and hundreds by tomorrow. It's a global pandemic that has altered life as we knew it, and according to the projections of the professionals, America is only in the beginning stages.
So do we sit in fearful desperation as our leaders flounder from one self-serving decision to another? Do we cower and hide without hope, or are we powerless in this world gone wild? The answer to these questions and to the deeper question of 'what can the church do about the sins of its nation?', is given to us in verse 14.
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; they will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
In the days to come, I will walk through some of the components of this verse. But until then, I encourage you to follow the directions of the Holy Spirit concerning this passage and promise, and trust that He's still the same God, yesterday, today and forever.