Friday, August 19, 2011


“[2 Chronicles 7] Verses 14 and 16 provide two reasons why human responses to God of this sort make forgiveness possible. First of all, it is because the supplicants are “my people who are called by my name” (v. 14). Here one finds the covenantal language of “my people,” seen regularly in the covenantal formula: “I will be your God and you will be my people” (Exod 6:7, Lev 26:12, Deut 29:12, Jer 31:33). Further, these people are called by Yahweh’s name in an ancient context in which “name” is intimately associated with the very essence of the one who bears it. Thus, “to be called by my name” is to be intricately associated with this deity, that is, to be the people of Yahweh in covenant relationship. Covenantal language of this sort thus assumes the entire foundation of grace that undergirds this relationship. Divine grace thus propels the people of God to respond when he enacts the kind of discipline rehearsed in v. 13. The second reason that the process described in vv. 13–14 is possible is given in v. 16. God’s attentiveness to his people is linked to his election of and passion for the temple.”—A Severe Mercy, pages 496

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