january 24th - If My People
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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chron 7:14 (NKJV)
Years ago I received a phone call from Bob Biddle, who was the Music Minister at Bethany Assembly in Everett, Washington. He asked me to sing in a musical that Bethany was getting ready to perform. It was the very fine musical called, "If My People," written by Jimmy and Carol Owens. In the musical, the timeless message of Solomon's entreaty to the nation of Israel was given new life as its truth was applied to the contemporary times in which we live. In a nutshell, "If my people," is a call for God's people to act as agents of God's reconciliation.
Solomon made it clear: If the people of God would commit themselves to actually "be" the people of God, God would bless the land in which they lived on behalf of His people. It's as if God's people are the glue that God uses to hold a country together. That God's people are necessary to the well-being of the whole; and that even the non-believing sector of a land is blessed on their account. Could this possibly be true? Humans generally approach truth from a negative perspective. We say, "One rotten apple spoils the bunch." Meaning, one evil or bad person has an effect on everyone and everything around them. There is truth in this idiom; However, by the same measure, one good person also has an effect on everyone and everything around them. Beyond the good person's "natural" effect on the people around them, there is also the power of God to consider. God, on behalf of His people brings forgiveness and healing.
Abraham entered into a negotiation with two agents from God. The messengers from God told Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham, concerned for his relatives that lived in the cities asked if Sodom and Gomorrah could be sparred for the sake of the righteous people that lived there. He negotiated the number down to 10 righteous people. The judgment of God would be turned
away for the sake of 10 righteous people. Only one fly in the ointment--there were not that many righteous people to be found in Sodom and Gomorrah. Instead of reconciliation and healing, the cities in question were destroyed.
How many righteous people would it take to spare the United States from the judgment of God? How many Believers are being salt and light? How many Believers are standing true and not bowing before the increasing pressure to conform? Will we remain standing in the face of political correctness as the Hebrew children boldly stood before Nebuchadnezzar's golden statue, or will we capitulate and become a part of the problem rather than the solution? Serious questions for serious times! What is God's answer to the gathering darkness? You...God's people are the answer. We are ministers of God's reconciliation. We stand in the gap. "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 will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Author's Note: I happen to know Jimmy and Carol Owens personally. Firstly, they are great people. Secondly, they love God, love the work of God, love the family of God; and are seasoned in the wisdom of God. It helps when the messenger that is carrying the message of God does so with spiritual integrity. I know that my life has been enriched by my relationship with Jimmy and Carol; and my spiritual understanding was enlightened by the message of their musical "If My People." RJD