In 2 Chronicles 7, the Lord promises to heal a nation if it repents and turns to Him. Does that promises apply to my country or only to Israel?
A passage from 2 Chronicles 7 is commonly taken out of context and misapplied to Gentiles nations. The true meaning is clear when we examine the full context:
2Chr. 7:11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s palace, and successfully completed all that he had planned on doing in the house of the LORD and in his palace.
2Chr. 7:12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
2Chr. 7:13 “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
2Chr. 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2Chr. 7:15 “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.
2Chr. 7:16 “For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.
2Chr. 7:17 “As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances,
2Chr. 7:18 then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’
The context of the passage limits our application to Israel alone.
First, notice the Lord's target audience for these words. He is speaking to the King of Israel about a people He calls "My" people, a clear and consistent reference to Israel. In the Bible, the Lord never refers to Gentiles as "My" people, and in fact, the opposite is true. The Lord says Gentiles are not His people:
Hos. 2:21 “It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD.
“I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth,
Hos. 2:22 And the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil,
And they will respond to Jezreel.
Hos. 2:23 “I will sow her for Myself in the land.
I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion,
And I will say to those who were not My people,
‘You are My people!’
And they will say, ‘You are my God!’”
Speaking about non-Jews, the Lord says He will one day come to those who are not His people (i.e., Gentiles) and adopt them as His people. This is a reference to the time when the Lord offers His grace to Gentiles in the Church. Although Gentiles receive grace during this time, nevertheless Gentiles are not God's people. Israel alone remains God's people, and elsewhere in Hosea, the Lord promises to remember Israel as His people even after the period of the Church:
Hos. 1:10 Yet the number of the sons of Israel
Will be like the sand of the sea,
Which cannot be measured or numbered;
And in the place
Where it is said to them,
“You are not My people,”
It will be said to them,
“You are the sons of the living God.”
So the context of 2Chron 7 shows these promises were spoken to Israel, not to Gentile nations.
Secondly in that passage, God is not calling for a general repentance resulting in a general healing of the land. On the contrary, the repentance required is specified in the form of a return to following the Law (v.17), and the healing that will follow is said to be the removal of drought, locusts and pestilence which God previously inflicted on the land of Israel (v.13).
In the Torah (see Deut 11) the Lord threatened to bring various calamities like drought, locust swarms and sicknesses upon Israel for its failure to keep the commandments of the Old Testament Law. Now in this passage, God promises Solomon that He will heal Israel from these plagues if Israel repents and returns to following the Law. This is the proper understanding of the words "repent" and "heal" in this context.
Once again, the context prevents us from making any application to Gentile nations. Only Israel was bound to keep the covenant of Law established at Sinai, so only Israel can be punished for violating this covenant. Paul says in Romans 2:14 that Gentiles "do not have the Law" and in Romans 2:12 that Gentiles are "without the law." In Ephesians 2:12 Paul says Gentiles are strangers to the covenants, referring to the covenant at Sinai among others.
Furthermore, only Israel's land was to be inflicted with these curses for a failure to keep the Law of Moses. Since the Gentile world is not under the Law, it cannot be expected to repent and "return" to the Law, and since Gentile nations are not inflicted with these curses, then Gentile nations are not in view in this passage. (Ironically, Christians who wish to apply this passage to Gentile nations usually do not believe that Christians must keep the Old Testament Law, yet we can't have it both ways in this passage.)
Thirdly, the promise to heal the land speaks specifically of Israel's land, not just any land. Notice that the context of vs.11-12 is Solomon finishing the temple, which we know is located in Jerusalem. Then in v.12 the Lord refers to that specific geographical location as "this place" and in v.13 the Lord refers again to "the" land of "My" people. Finally, in v.14 the Lord promises to heal "their land" referring to the land of the Jewish people.
Without a doubt, the promises God issues in this passage are for Israel and for Israel's land only, and therefore they have no connection to any Gentile nation whatsoever.
We should add that the tendency for American Christians (in particular) to view this passage as speaking of the United States is an unfortunate example of eisegetical misinterpretation of Scripture. Eisegesis is the process of interpreting a text in such a way as to introduce one's own presuppositions, agendas or biases into the meaning. It is commonly referred to as "reading into the text," and it reflects a self-focused approach to sutdying the Bible.
Simply put, no Gentile nation is in view in any promise of Scripture. All of God's promises are made to and through Israel because the only nation on Earth God established to protect, preserve, glorify and inhabit is Israel. The Gentile nations exist to serve Israel, so all will rise and eventually fall in the course of history.
On the other hand, individual Gentiles (i.e., believers) are included in the promises of God when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. Paul says in Romans 11 that we are "grafted" into the promises God gave to Israel, and together with all believing Gentiles worldwide become a holy nation apart from our earthly identity:
1Pet. 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
So for all Gentile believers, our "land" and our "nation" is the body of Christ dispersed across the globe. Our identity is now found in Christ, not in our affiliation with a physical nation on earth. And according to Hebrews 11, our country is the future Kingdom we await when Jesus returns. There we will see all promises fulfilled, and we will enjoy the blessings God ensured for Israel since we share in them.