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'If My People'

There is an inspiring song based on the text from 2 Chronicles 7:14. The Promise Keepers' rendition of this song about God's forgiveness, and grace for sinful humans tugs at our emotions. This verse has long been a mainstay of Christian faith.

Here is the passage: "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."

The oath still taken in many courts is as follows; "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" And the witness answers, "I do."

A person can tell the truth, but, by not telling the whole truth, he can be deceptive. Did you notice the verse above began without the "if" being capitalized? That is not an error. It is the last part of a sentence which originates in verse 13. Therefore, it is not the whole truth!

Here is the whole sentence: "When I shut up the heavens, so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

This alters the spirit of verse 14 significantly. God will hold the rain, command locusts to consume their crops, and send plagues to torment his people but if they repent of their wicked ways, he will remove these disasters. This is not the first time God has intimidated his people. In Leviticus Chapter 26 and Deuteronomy 28, his threats are much worse.

In both books, God declares he will inflict many terrible curses if they don't obey all of his commands, decrees and ordinances. Leviticus Chapter 26 lists 22 verses of curses, but, Deuteronomy Chapter 28 lists 56 verses of curses and verse 61 announces there will be many sicknesses and disasters added which will destroy them.

Here the fear and terror of an all-powerful deity is used to control primitive humans too ignorant, gullible, and superstitious to think critically for themselves.

Oren Piper

Siloam Springs

Editorial on 01/23/2019

Print Headline: Letter to the Editor

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