[A professing believer stated this] “Even prior to the 2020 election, I’ve heard pastors and bishops quote and even misinterpret 2 Chronicles 7:14.”
“This passage focused on the Lord appearing to Solomon and saying that He has chosen Jerusalem as “this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice” in verse 12. In chapter 7, the “Chronicler” of this chapter focuses on the sacrifices given to the Lord and the celebrations of the Feasts of Tabernacle.”
If we are to go by what is said in the statement above, so then, how can we live by it? God’s Word is what transforms us into the image of Christ. If we don’t apply them, we will continue to stay stagnant in our faith. When interpreting Old Testament passages, we must understand that it has two methods of interpretation.
The Two Methods Of Interpretation
- The Scriptures are to be interpreted literally unless otherwise noted in the passage that it’s using figurative language. The meaning of symbols are either found in the context or through cross-reference [Scripture interprets Scripture].
- All passages, regardless if it has to do with Israel or with how Christians ought to live, have life application. In the Old Testament, application is applied through principle. Principle is the message conveyed, which shows God’s standard. Since God’s righteous standards doesn’t change, we can see its application for us today.
When following these two methods, you can see that the whole Bible contains life application. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, you can live out God’s Word.
Let’s use the passage in question, for example [2 Chronicles 7:14].
and 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, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.-2 Chronicles 7:14, NASB 2020
In the passage above, God is talking to His people that if they repent and seek His face, He will respond in their favor. The application here is that if you commit to the Lord Jesus Christ and live a life of repentance when you fall short of God’s standard, reading the Scripture through prayer, the Lord will forgive your trespasses. He will heal you and provide for your basic needs.
The same concept is found in Matthew 6:33, which says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”
Jesus is saying in Matthew 6:33 that if you seek His interest first (the kingdom and His righteousness), He will take care of all your wants that you need as mentioned in verse 31, which says, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’
In the New Testament, it sheds some light on the subject of life application. In 1 Corinthians 10, it talks about what happened in the Old Testament with the children of Israel. The passage tells us that we as believers need to apply the principle of obedience to God’s Word, as it is warning us not to imitate the evil practices of the disobedient. See below.
6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they indeed craved them. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND TO DRINK, AND ROSE UP TO PLAY.” 8 Nor are we to commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.-1 Corinthians 10:6-8, NASB 2020
Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
The Old and New Testament contain instructions for us to follow. The word “instruction” just means Godly rules that we ought to apply to our lives as it will direct and benefit us.
1 Timothy 4:16-17 amplifies how the Scriptures are supposed to be used in a believer’s life. Not only does it tell you how to use it, but it puts the believer at the level that he needs to be in: fully equipped to accomplish the will of God.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.-1 Timothy 4:16-17, NASB 2020
The Scriptures were written so that we may live according to them. They are not filled with nice slogans that we read, enjoy, and then simply move on without putting them into practice. The Word of God is full of promises for all who have believed in Jesus Christ for the building up of the faith. Jesus in Matthew 4:4 said to the devil, “But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
We are to live out the Scriptures through life application. When you read the Bible, ask yourself, “How can I apply these passages to my life?”
Jesus also said in Matthew 7:24-25 “24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.”
Be a wise man and read His Word with the aid of the Holy Spirit (prayer), applying them so that you may stand your ground in the day of battle with the strength that the Lord provides.