Throughout the Old Testament we see a pretty steady pattern--the people of God make a strong commitment to Him. They follow the Law closely, worship Him passionately, and pray consistently... BUT... it only lasts a season. The people are persuaded to follow other idols, fall into sin, turn away from God's covenant, turn worship into religion, and faith in Yahweh becomes just another hope for blessings.
22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
Even though God was not happy with how His people had dishonored His name, see what He tells them:
24 “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. 30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
God shows His love, grace, commitment, perseverance, and patience toward His people. They did not deserve to be blessed by God but to be cursed, killed, and destroyed. Over and over again God's people have turned their backs on Him and He has repeatedly shown His grace.
What about us? What about you?
How have you profaned God's name?
Who/what are the other idols that you have worshipped?
How have you dishonored God and the commitment you've made to following Him?
Holy God, Lord most gracious!
Rebuke us not in your anger. Have mercy on us
We feel unworthy, for we have failed you again and again.
We feel like running away, yet you keep calling us.
Have mercy on us, O God.
In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ
Aren't you glad that our God is a God of second chances?
It's not too late to repent,
to run back to God,
to feel His love,
to experience His grace
and to hear His promises.
But His grace is not cheap... it cost a Son, a crucifixion, a life, a death
So don't take it for granted and go on sinning.
Repent and re-turn your life to your God.
1 In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
2 I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.