CLEANSING THE LAND
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
We all want our land healed, but sometimes, we need to search deeper into the Word of God, to learn how to do this practically. This article has been a great help to me, in understanding this.
In Alistair Petrie’s book Releasing Heaven on Earth, he speaks of four main categories of sin and defilement and four judgments of God that will visit an offending land when the land is defiled.
Stewardship of the Land – Ezra 9:11; Petrie, Causes of Defilement
Winkie Pratney states in his book Healing the Land, “Famine, ecological devastation, war, and disease are four prophetic voices designed to get our attention when our moral madness is full. What we do not want to acknowledge will not be overlooked – that we cannot get away with living as if God does not exist or as if He has nothing to say to us.”
Scripture teaches us that there are at least four major categories of sin and defilement, the result of fallen stewardship and disobedience.
1. Idolatry (Ex. 20:3-5; Jer. 3:6-10, 16:18; Rom. 1:24-25)
2. Immorality and Fornication (Lev. 18:1-25, 19:29; Rom. 1:24-25; Ezek. 16:25-27; Gal. 5:16-26: Col. 3:5-10)
3. Bloodshed (Num. 35:33; Is. 59:2-3) – Includes the shedding of innocent blood and slaughter of suppressed people groups.
1. Broken Covenants (Is. 24:5-6; 1 Sam. 18:3-4)
Four Judgments that will visit an offending land when it is defiled:
a. Of Food (Ezek. 14:13, Ps. 105:16)
b. Of the Word (Am. 8:11)
c. Of Witness – We hunger for a sense of God’s presence in and through us. It’s as if His presence is absent due to the sin that permeates the land keeping His holiness from us.
d. Of Relationship – Not just our relationship with God, our relationship with others as well. The land is void of reflecting His nature and love.
e. Of Harvest – There is little productivity in the lives of God’s people. Fruitlessness replaces fruitfulness. Spiritual harvests and physical harvests are closely connected in Scripture (see Am. 4:7)
This type of famine leads us to examine the second warning God gives concerning fallen stewardship:
2. Ecological Devastation (Ezek 14:15-16, Jer. 23:10, Hag. 1:9-11)
Pratney comments, “It is no secret that the Western world faces a staggering economic burden. The causes are many, the warnings dire, the consequences frightening. Yet the root cause is none of the usual factors on which we usually lay blame. The root cause is moral. The source: personal selfishness, greed, and carelessness.
How true it is that if we sin against God, even nature turns against us! We each need to examine the level at which stewardship defilement may have penetrated our lives, homes, churches, cities, and nations. In His grace, especially when people forget Him, God allows tragedies to come our way in order to sober us up so we can see things from His perspective.
Ezek. 14:17 says, “Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, ‘Let the sword pass throughout the land,’ and I kill its men and their animals,”
We assume that war involves the assault of one nation against another. This kind of sword mentioned in Ezekiel, however, includes anger, jealousy, resentment, competitiveness, aloofness, and divisiveness – all reflecting the very opposite of the nature of Jesus Himself. This can include wars in the church over sound or faulty doctrine, warfare in our homes, fighting between members of a household, conflicts in
1. relationships, work, employees, or even the government’s petty striving that is given so much media attention.
2. Disease (Ezek. 14:19-20)
Believers are finding that when the tools of spiritual mapping and intercessory prayer are used correctly and applied to a community or a city or nation suffering from disease, we can often trace the history of that disease to an actual time of defilement in which the sin of the people gave the enemy legal access to that area, as implied in Eph. 4:27-28.
Disease itself brings variety of fruit with it – anxieties, sorrow (see Psalm 103), and all forms of illness – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. God is saying again and again, “Don’t ignore Me!” The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it; the world and all who live in it (Ps. 24:1).
These four judgments we have reviewed from Ezekiel also face the last generation of mankind:
Revelation 6:8 says, “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.“
Here the New Testament is validating the warnings of the Old Testament.
God is a good and just God. He has to judge evil to maintain a standard of righteousness and holiness.
Healing our Land
This is what Alistair Petrie says we must do to heal our land:
• Consecrate Ourselves – Josh. 7:13 says, “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.”
• Identificational Repentance – Ezra, Nehemiah, and David are often cited as prime examples of identificational repentance (See Num. 35: 33, Josh. 9, 2 Sam. 21:1-14 – Jesus cites this passage in Matt. 23:29-36)
• Confession and Forgiveness – The confession of sin releases the immediacy of God’s forgiveness over the activities that have separated us from His presence. (See Nehemiah 1:6-7, John 1:8-9, James 5:16)
• Breaking Bondages – The final step in this process of healing the land is breaking the bondages and barriers that have separated us from God’s love and healing. This principle extends from the individual right through to an entire nation. We need to recall that bondages (distorted relationships) are the result of sin that has opened the door to demonic activity (See Matt. 18:18-19)
Seven Blessings of God on the Land
Leviticus 26:4-10 presents seven categories of blessings that God longs to bestow on His people when they live, walk, and work in obedience to Him:
• Ecological Health – Lev. 26:4 says, “I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.”
• Economic Health – Lev. 26:5 says, “Your threshing season will overlap with grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land.”
• Personal Security – Lev. 26:6a says, “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear.”
• Civil Security – Lev. 26:6b says, “I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land.”
• International Security – Lev. 26:7 says, “In fact, you will chase own your enemies and slaughter them with your swords.” Lev. 26:8a says, “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword.”
• Honor and Growth – Lev. 26:9 says, “I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill My covenant with you.”
• Innovation and Creativity – Lev. 26:10 says, “You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest!”
God’s further promises to His people for their obedience are written in Lev. 26:11-13: “I will put my tabernacle among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”
“Father, Creator, Heal our land. Forgive us, cleanse us, do for us, what only the blood of Jesus can do! Amen!”