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Independence Day, 2019

If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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 Chronicles 7:14

Somewhere today, you will see that verse juxtaposed on an American flag. Chances are, you already have. Come Sunday, many will hear sermons co-opting that text as an exhortation and promise for the United States. In this post, I'm going to explain, in as few words as possible (because I'm in a hurry to go eat burgers and potato salad and blow things up) why that's wrong.

Context matters. This promise was not given to America. It was given to God's people, Israel. It was not given to any other nation, and was not meant as a blanket promise to the world.

Understanding that, it still may be argued that the church, being God's New Covenant people, may claim that promise, pray for their nation, and see that nation turn to God. Eschatological disagreements aside, the answer is still no—America (or wherever you might be) is not our land. We don't have a land—not here in the present world, that is. So even if you fail hermeneutically and drag the verse out of context, you run into that. We don't have a land to heal.

Should we pray for our nations? Absolutely. Should we pray for our government administrators? Of course (1 Timothy 2:1–2), and we should trust that God is able to move them (Proverbs 21:1). But God has made no promises to America. His promises are given exclusively to his people, those spoken of in Matthew 1:21—“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Now, I am off to celebrate as patriotically a Scripture allows, which is a lot more patriotically than is fashionable for woke evangelicals.


Posted 2019·07·04 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Independence Day

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