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Does 2 Chronicles 7:14 mean God sends disaster upon the world?

Quick Answer: Does 2 Chronicles 7:14 mean God sends disaster upon the world? Whenever disasters occur, 2 Chronicles 7:14 is often used as a proof text to argue God is sending disasters because of the world’s sins. But this is an Old Testament passage aimed at Israel before Jesus died for our sins to bring us total forgiveness and salvation through Him. Today is the day of salvation – not the day of judgment. God’s agenda is to save the world, not to punish it. And the kindness of the Lord brings us to repentance (Romans 2:4). So, God is not hurling disaster at us to get our attention.

Diving Deeper:  The most common Bible passage referred to during natural disasters (and the coronavirus pandemic) is this one: “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” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Many believe that 2 Chronicles 7:14 teaches that God sends disasters on modern-day nations. If these nations would repent and humble themselves, they say, then God would heal them.

However, it’s a mistake to apply this passage in this way. Why? Because it’s an Old Testament passage, and we live in New Testament times. In the same passage, the Israelites are seen getting their sins forgiven by sacrificing 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep and consecrating the Temple that Solomon built. Israel lived under the Law, and God related to them through the old covenant. Their sins were atoned for through the shedding of animal blood.

Today, we are not under the Law. And we are not sacrificing animals for our sins. Why not? Because Jesus fulfilled the Law through His once-for-all sacrifice. He is the perfect sacrifice, the spotless Lamb of God. And because of His sacrifice, we are perfectly forgiven for all time by His blood: “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

It’s also important to understand that today is not Judgment Day. God is not interested in bringing calamity upon the nations. He is interested in saving them (1 Timothy 2:4). If we really want to understand God’s heart during a natural disaster or pandemic, we should look to Jesus. He is the revelation of God’s heart and the exact representation of God’s nature (John 14:9).

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. Why is it not right to apply 2 Chronicles 7:14 to today’s natural disasters?
2. How does this relate to God’s heart and God’s agenda for the world?
3. How does the finished work of the cross (Jesus taking all punishment on Himself) factor in?

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