Focus Verse: Then I will return to my lair until they have borne their guilt and seek my face—in their misery they will earnestly seek me. (15)
We shouldn’t let our sins push us into the business of misery before we seek God’s mercy.
Focus Verse: “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. (1)
If ever we get away from God, our reason for returning to Him should not only be to get relief from the consequences of our disobedience. We must truly turn away from our sins and seek Him in sincerity with all our hearts. Then He will heal us from the hurts of our transgressions. He will bind up the wounds our wrongdoings have caused.
Focus Verse: But they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me. (2)
This verse only applies to those who refuse to repent. God forgets the sins of those who believe in His Son for salvation. He totally blots them out. He does not remember them anymore. They will not be judged by their B. C. actions. John 5:24 says, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
Focus Verse: Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’ (2)
The people of Israel said with their mouths, “Our God, we acknowledge you!” But what they did in their hearts and with their hands and with their feet said quite the opposite. Are our actions backing up the words that we cry out to God? Are we rejecting what is good while singing, “This is my desire, to honor You Lord, with all my heart”? Are we doing things without God’s consent and approval while simultaneously praying for His will to be done?
Focus Verse: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (4)
Although the Bible was written in the past – many thousands of years ago, the Scriptures still provide us with encouragement in the present. In hopeless times (and our world is often full of them), the easiest thing to do is despair and let our faith fail. However, God wants us to do the hard, but right, thing and that is to keep on. We have many Biblical examples of men and women who endured temptation, persecution, famine, hatred and death to remain faithful to their God.
Even though many were doing wrong around him, Enoch endured in righteousness and pleased God. Noah also endured in building the ark for many years before the flood came as God had promised. Abraham and Sarah endured nearly a lifetime without children before they gave birth to their son named Isaac. Joseph endured being bullied by his brothers, lied on by Potiphar’s wife and being unjustly imprisoned, yet he never lost faith in God. The people of Israel endured long years of wandering in the desert before entering the Promised Land. Paul endured imprisonments, floggings, beatings, shipwrecks and more because of his faith. And Christ, our perfect Example, endured the shame and pain of the cross so we could have eternal life. The Word of God teaches us endurance and gives us encouragement that we might have hope.