What is God’s response when the people that He loves defile His holy name by the evil way they live? Read along because it’s not what you would expect or deserve, and it’s something you have been waiting for with all your heart.
… Give the people this message from the Sovereign Lord:
“I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it. I am doing it to protect my holy name… I will show how holy my great name is—the name on which you brought shame among the nations. And when I reveal my holiness through you before their very eyes, says the Sovereign Lord, then the nations will know that I am the Lord.”
Here is how God vindicates His Holy Name:
24 For I will gather you up from all the nations and bring you home again to your land.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols.
26 And I will give you a new heart… a tender, responsive heart.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
28 You will be my people, and I will be your God.
30 I will give you great harvests from your fruit trees and fields, and never again will the surrounding nations be able to scoff at your land for its famines.
WOW. It is mind-boggling why God would continue to show kindness toward such stubborn people as you and I. It’s not that God cannot or would not get angry. It’s that He decided beforehand to show us mercy and grace, and lead us to repentance.
31 Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 32 But remember, says the Sovereign Lord, I am not doing this because you deserve it. O my people of Israel, you should be utterly ashamed of all you have done!
When He brings you back, everyone will know what a good and gracious God he is, for He is Holy and He does what He says.
35 And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ 36 Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I say…. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the Lord.”
Reflect on This:
God is drawing you in with His mercy and amazing grace. Respond. Repent. Rejoice!