Jul. 22, 2022

“ALL that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

2 Chronicles 7 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Certainly He is good, certainly His faithfulness is everlasting.”

Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the musical instruments for the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His faithfulness is everlasting”—whenever David gave praise through their ministry; the priests on the other side blew trumpets and all Israel was standing.

Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that was before the house of the Lord, for he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings there, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat.

So Solomon held the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly that came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. And on the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, because they held the dedication of the altar for seven days, and the feast for seven days. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy in heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David, to Solomon, and to His people Israel.

11 So Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s palace, and successfully completed everything that he had planned on doing in the house of the Lord and in his palace.

12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, 14 and 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there always. 17 As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, to do according to everything that I have commanded you, and keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’

19 “But if you turn away and abandon My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight; and I will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all peoples. 21 As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done these things to this land and to this house?’ 22 And they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods, and worshiped and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”


Many people invoke 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, from today’s text on behalf of our nation. God says: If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send a plague among My people, and 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Although our nation was founded on Christian and Biblical values and principals, we are now considered by many to be a post Christian society and culture. In many ways it is no longer the church which influences society, but rather the church is influenced by society. God, who once was central to every aspect of our society, has been removed from our education system, our government, our workplaces, and our public places. The results are evident as violence, evil, immorality and lawlessness have increased throughout our nation. Edwin Burke a British statesman around the time of the Revolutionary war famously said: “ALL that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” In the end, we know that God will triumph over evil, but the church has been silent and done nothing for far too long.

If we want to invoke God’s promise to heal our land from 2 Chronicles, we need to take ownership of what He said. We cannot expect that the government will turn back to God. It is the people of God who must do something. It is those who are called by His name who need to humble themselves, ourselves and pray. We are the ones who need to seek His face. We are the ones who need to turn from our evil ways, even if the evil has been that we have remained silent and done nothing. In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus says: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by people. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Like salt, it is the church that should control and preserve the flavor and goodness of our culture. Instead, the church is being trampled underfoot by people. We are called not to hide in our homes or in our church buildings, but to be light in the darkness of the world. Those called by the name of Christ should shine brightly, not only doing good works, but being good, so that they may see and glorify God in heaven. There are consequences not only for our culture if the church remains silent and does nothing, but for us as well. In Luke 9:26 Jesus says: “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.”

In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus says: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned.”   In Ezekiel 3:17-21 God says: “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person shall die for wrongdoing, but his blood I will require from your hand. However if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die for wrongdoing, but you have saved yourself. Again, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits sin, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require from your hand. However, if you have warned the righteous person that the righteous is not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall certainly live because he took warning; and you have saved yourself.”  As those who are called by the name of Christ, we are not responsible for the results of the gospel message, but we are responsible if we do not share it.

Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, I am not ashamed of You or the gospel. I humbly ask that You would forgive me for my silence. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, I will speak the truth and warn the wicked of their ways. I will seek Your face that I might hear You speak and I will declare that You are the living God and Jesus died for the sins of the world, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit heal our land. Amen.