Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:12-15 NKJV
Notwithstanding powerful manifestations of God, e.g., fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple (2 Chron. 7:1), some people still don’t forsake sin. They continue to live self-centered lives, unyielding to God’s Word and His will, even to the point of becoming cold and callous towards the things of God, having their conscience seared with an hot iron (1 Tim. 4:2).
God told Solomon that pride, prayerlessness, and a lack of devotion to God was sin, and if God’s people didn’t turnaround from their wicked ways, the heavens would be shut-up the heavens and there would be no blessings, locust would be commanded to devour their land, and God would send pestilence and plaques if the people didn’t turnaround.
A “turnaround” is the act of turning about and facing and moving in the opposite direction—it is a spiritual breakthrough—moving towards God in repentance and faith (Heb. 6:1). Repentance (metanoia, Greek word) is after thought, a change of mind, and to think differently. Repentance is not just an Old Testament concept. John the Baptist was the first to preach repentance in the New Testament. He stressed in his message that the kingdom of God was right here, right now, and furthered insisted that true repentance produced fruit (evidence) of change (Matt. 3:1-2, 7-8).
The fruit of a turnaround is evidence of change. You must change your mind about sin, God, and yourself. God is not overlooking sin, especially the sin of idolatry, “but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). Idolatry can be a subtle sin because it so easy to idolized, and place before our jealous God (Ex. 20:5) your spouse, children, your house, your car, and your job, etc. Be careful. Unrepented sin will do you in!
Seems to me, there are three things that we need to turnaround from, face God and move towards Him in faith: sin, transgression, and iniquity. Sin is a falling away from God, missing the mark (disobedience) with respect to what He commands; transgression is a violation of law (the Word of God) committed through ignorance or by rebellion; and, iniquity is wickedness, crookedness, perverseness (moral distortion). The bottom line is: again, unrepented sin will do you in by shutting up heaven, locusts devouring the fruit of your life, and suffering the problems of pestilence and plagues. Just turnaround!