God’s Word for Times Like These is a series of 10 inspirational Bible reading notes produced by Scripture Union International as the world tries to cope with the immediacy and the urgency of Covid-19. Part 2 was The Lord is Our Refuge where we studied Psalm 90 and saw how Moses turned to God for refuge during difficult times in the wilderness.
Part 3: Turn to God for Healing
2 Chronicles 7:11-16 New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Appears to Solomon
11 When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, 12 the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 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 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 prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
King Solomon and Israel have just dedicated the new temple to God and then God speaks to Solomon. He tells him that, when the difficult times come (including plague), there is a process for the people to receive God’s healing: be humble, pray, seek, turn, hear, forgive – then healing will come. It’s a combination of dependence on God and action.
Like Solomon, we can demonstrate to people this act of total dependence on God. For if we turn to God, He will heal.
With your family
In the Bible reading today, God reminds us of what we are to do when faced with challenging times (verse 14).
Our Part: to first humble ourselves, then pray, really pray in a way where we are seeking his face, and finally – we see that it is not enough to be humble and pray and seek God – it says we must turn away from our wicked ways.
God’s Promise: to hear, forgive and heal.
As a family – divide into 2 groups and make a list of what you think God can see and you think God can hear if He is looking down on Samoa and its people today. You can make your lists colorful and with butcher paper if you have children and want to get them involved.
Reflect and talk about what you think God is hearing and seeing today in our Samoan community in Samoa and around the world. Each family member will have their own views.
Some will be positive. Some will be sad.
Display your lists on your wall as a reminder of God’s caring presence.
Read together the great promise that God gives us in verse 15 “My eyes will be open and my ears attentive”.
Lord, we humble ourselves and call on You. Hear us. Heal us, we pray.. Amen
God Heals and Restores
…Yahweh’s rescuing act is a restoration… the metaphor of healing has a public dimension in which Yahweh can restore the wellbeing of a wounded city or people
W Brueggemann, Theology of the Old Testament