Nations - Does God Intervene?|
Q. I've heard some pastors state that God does not deal with nations today like He did in the Old Testament because we are living in the Age of Grace. Is that true? They also say that 2 Chronicles 7:14 only applies to Israel, not to the church or our country. So God will leave us alone until after the rapture of the church. What do you think?
Thanks for your thought-provoking questions. Let's look again at some of the verses that suggest God does intervene in nations today.
2 Chronicles 7:14
2 Chronicles 7:14 reads, "If my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Please note that this verse does NOT say, "If pagan (or unbelieving) nations…pray…and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Who are "My" People?
Instead, it says "If MY people…pray…and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven…" MY people denotes primarily two groups of people - the Jews and those who belong to Christ. But, if pagan or unbelieving nations turn to God and seek His face, they are no longer "pagan" or unbelieving, are they?
Behaviors Affect our Relationship with God
So, 2 Chronicles 7:14 does not apply only to the Jewish nation. From Genesis to Revelation the Bible consistently teaches that prayer, repentance, humility, and faith affect our relationship with God.
Only teachers who preach an extreme form of dispensationalism tend to believe that God doesn't deal with nations today. However, a quick overview of the New Testament demonstrates again and again that even those saved by grace through faith are accountable to God for their actions (See 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 11:29-30; 1 Jn 2:28; 2 Jn 1:8, etc.).
Furthermore, the study of prophecy shows God at work in nations today. That is why the book of Daniel or Revelation reveal activities lining up with today's news in an astonishing way!
God is Still in Control
Acts 17:26 says, "And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him" (ESV).
Acts 17:26 reveals that not only is God active in the affairs of men but He determines their times and locations, too.
Perhaps the most clear indication of God's interaction with nations today may be found in Jeremiah 18:5-11:
"At one moment I (God) might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it" (Jer. 18:7).
Verse 8 continues, "If that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it."
"Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it" (Jer. 18:9).
Verse 10 demonstrates God's reaction to a nation: "If it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it."
God does Not Change
Jeremiah 18:5-11 is a good verse to memorize. We suggest our readers at least memorize the location of these verses. Jeremiah 18 makes it clear that blessings and curses upon a nation depend upon their relationship with God, yesterday and today. Our interpretation of God's Word may change from time to time. But, God does not change.
Accountability for our actions is a universal principle. It applies to Jews, Christians, Japan, Russia, America, angels (1 Cor. 6:3) and every sentient being throughout the universe.
"Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" (Galatians 6:7).