7/6/16: Come Back
When the work on the temple of God was finished in Second Chronicles chapter 6, Solomon brought all the people together for a dedication service. In front of them all, the king knelt down, spread out his hands toward heaven, and began to pray. He acknowledged two things: the greatness of God, and the people’s penchant to sin. He then went through a list of situations about which he asked God to forgive the people.
- Verse 22: “If anyone sins against his neighbor…”
- Verse 24: “Or if Your people Israel are defeated before an enemy because they have sinned against You…”
- Verse 26: “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You…”
- Verse 28: “When there is famine in the land, pestilence, or blight…whatever plague or whatever sickness there is…”
By the time King Solomon gets toward the end of the prayer, he’s realizing that the people could continue to sin until God would get so fed up with them that He’d put them out of their wonderful Promised Land. To cover even this possibility, Solomon prays,
“When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to a land far or near; yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness’; and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been carried captive, and pray toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen, and toward the temple which I have built for Your name: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive Your people who have sinned against You” 2 Chronicles 6:36-39 (NKJ).
This is a prayer that God is still ready to answer today for Israel. It’s also a prayer that can be applied to us. No matter what we’ve done, God stands ready to embrace us if we would just come back. Yes, He is angry about our sin. He hates sin, and He went to the ultimate length to provide a way out of sin’s trap for us by sending Jesus to take our sin away. Now even though we insult such a great provision by willfully sinning, He still welcomes back the confessing culprit.
No matter what you’re in or where you are right now, come back to God. Your sins may have taken you captive to “a land far or near.” Perhaps that’s a land of alcohol or drug addiction, a land of illicit sexual affairs, a land of white collar crime, or a land of violence upon others. Perhaps it’s an inner land of bitterness, envy, strife, gossip, unforgiveness, or malice. From whatever land has taken you captive, the call is still the same: come back. Confess and return with your whole heart. It’s still true that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13 (NKJ).
I’m going to Africa! Mission Trip Update! ZAMBIA AND UGANDA, here I come! Preparations are in full swing. I started getting the necessary vaccinations for the trip. All that medication is really expensive. Please sow a financial donation into my upcoming mission trip. Thank you in advance! Click this link: to go to the full request with instructions on how to give toward this amazing ministry opportunity! You can give three ways:
- Via Paypal through my ministry website: http://www.lifethatmatters.net (Click “Donate”)
- By check sent to my post office box: P.O. Box 1519, Inglewood, CA 90308
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: