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“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 I will heal their land.”
When I think of this verse many things jump out at me and call me to attention.
He begins with if… that means we have a choice. If… my people.
The word if means [supposing that, or when or it’s a condition or requirement] it is also used to introduce an exclamatory phrase.
Which I believe is what this passage does.
He said, if my people… stating who he is addressing, who are called by my name, stating their identity, will humble themselves, that is a condition of heart.
“if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn,” THEN… I will hear.
It is a promise He will hear us but it has conditions.
Sort of like a humble repentance and awareness of what the wrongs we have done.
“if my people… show me a changed heart…(me paraphrasing this) I will hear, I will forgive, and I will heal.
That is three I will promises…each have a place in our condition of relationship with God the one who is speaking.
It amazes me how this verse is laid out, because He is saying, we need to be humble in mindset, prayerful in spirit, seeking in motive and repentant in behavior.
The verse says “IF” that means we have choice. He always gives choice.
Very similar to what we as parents do with our children.
I used to say to ours when they were little, “you can choose to not listen to me and realize the consequences of that choice or you can listen and mind.”
He was saying “If my people”.
He was placing a condition or requirement of His promises.
He could give us the promises without any movement on our part, but that would lose the lesson.
I think right now this is a wonderful verse to keep reminding ourselves.
He always gives us choice. The issue is what are we going to do with that?