“Even now,” declares the LORD,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and have pity
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the LORD your God.
Chapter one and into chapter 2, Israel’s doom is evident. Destruction is coming. Life will never be the same for them. They may find themselves wishing they were dead – put our of their misery. Their sin against their holy God has been registered and an accounting is coming. God is a God of holiness and justice… and He cannot co-exist with sin. Holiness and obedience is required by His people, and when it is not present, judgment will come… But wait!
God says, ‘even now if you return to me with fasting, weeping and mourning – there is hope for you! Don’t rip your clothes, break your heart and stubborn rebelliousness and return to God. This is what God wants… humble hearts that acknowledge and live for Him. How can this be possible after such hard hearts and rebellion? The Lord your God is…
• Gracious and compassionate
• Slow to anger
• Abounding in love!
And He does relent from sending calamity! The purpose of the calamity He sends is to get your attention and regain your heart. If this can happen without the destruction, God will relent. What’s more, beyond just having pity on His people, He leaves a blessing! This blessing can be turned and used as an offering in worship back to Him!
God is for me, not against me. He works for what is best for me. What is best is a humble, contrite heart that yields to Him throughout my days. He will use pain to gain my attention, and even when I am walking with Him, He will teach me lessons through the devastating circumstances of life. He is not against me; He is for me! Gdo has atoned for my sins through the blood of Christ and has given me a rich inheritance as His adopted child! He has had pit on me and even left a blessing!
Father, every blessing I return to You in worship. Thank You for Your patience and for being slow to anger and abounding in love! Your kindness leads me to repentance and Your grace and compassion are worth celebrating this day! And I do!