2 Chronicles 7:11-22
Today’s passage is a good reminder of some fundamental principles that have been woven throughout this devotional from the beginning.
- God’s people can mess up.
- There are always consequences for sin.
- God always provides a way of redemption and reconciliation.
- It’s always about the heart
Let’s focus closely at the actual process of the path of redemption and reconciliation that God spells out in v. 14. When God’s people, who are called by his name, get tripped up and distracted from their relationship with Him, how can they make things right? What does it take?
The opposite of humility is pride. That is what got us all in trouble in the first place. The serpent planted the seeds of pride into Adam and Eve’s mind, suggesting that they could become like God and would no longer need Him. Pride is the root of all our sin. We believe that we can make our own choices and that we know better than God. Then, when we do make a mistake, we are too proud to admit it, so we stand in the corner with our arms crossed and our jaw clenched. The first step toward reconciliation is to realize that crow is the healthiest meal you could ever eat. Put your pride in your pocket and say, “I blew it!”
After we release pride, then we have to talk to God. We can’t talk to God when we are in sin. Think of it in these concrete terms. Imagine that God is a person and you and He are standing in a dark room. All light in the room is coming from the face of God. God is facing you. To be in sin is to be facing away from God. If you are facing away from God, what are you looking at? Darkness. The first step to reconciliation is to start talking. You can talk to someone with your back to them, but is that really the most conducive posture for authentic, loving communication? Typically, when you are talking to someone with your back turned to them it is because you do not want to look them in the eye. Yet, the conversation must begin. It’s a start.
3. Seek and Turn
In order for there to be real reconciliation, there must be actual movement toward the face of God. If there is movement toward the face of God, then there will be the natural, opposite movement away from the void of darkness. This is the literal meaning of the word “repentance”; to turn in a different direction. You see, it is one or the other. You are either facing into the darkness, or you are facing the face of God. You can’t be doing both. One of the traps of our contemporary Christianity is the belief that we can have a relationship with God by facing into the darkness and talking over our shoulder. That is no relationship. To be reconciled to God is to turn away from the darkness – the pride, envy, lust, etc. – and look into the loving eyes of your Heavenly Father; to let the light of His glory warm your face.
God has promised that if His people would do this, then He will forgive and heal them. Look at v. 15. God says, “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” Paraphrased, God is saying, “I’m always here. I’m always facing you, shining my light on you. I’m always ready to hear you and welcome you when you turn around. Don’t face the dark, turn and face me.”
Where are you facing today?