So often, we misunderstand the Heart of God. He speaks of Himself, again and again, in His Word. He tells us that He is “Gracious and Compassionate, Slow to anger and rich in Love and Mercy. We focus too often on our own ideas of who God is, distorted ideas that come from our own difficult earthly experiences. In the passage below, God has just finished a long monologue about the unfaithfulness of Israel and Judah. He speaks of their betrayal, their faithless idolatries, their rebellion. But look, look at Our Precious God’s Plea to Come Home:
‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not look upon you in anger.
For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not be angry forever.
13 ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God
And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord.
14 ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord;
‘For I am a master to you,
And I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.’
God requires little from us, in His calling us Home to His Heart. He asks us to acknowledge our transgressions. God asks us to be honest, to be transparent, real, genuine. We cannot come to Him and pretty up our sins and such. We must call a “spade a spade.” He calls us to “Return,” and tells us He will not be angry forever because He is gracious, not wanting any to perish but all to come to eternal life. It’s up to us to choose. But what God does require is honesty within ourselves, and to Him. So don’t pretty up your sin, don’t try to pass it off as something less than it is. Call a spade a spade. If you have stolen, confess it. If you have been adulterous, admit it. If you have been dishonest, or greedy, envious, manipulative, etc; call a spade a spade. A spade is not a diamond any more than a triangle is a square. God makes it easy for us to come to Him and receive forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration. God made it hard on Himself, hard on His Son, Jesus. Surely our griefs He bore and our sins He carried, but God was pleased for the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. Jesus did what we could never do, because He is God. So come before Him, bow before Him, and be honest before Him. For He truly is who He says He is, He truly is slow to anger and rich in love.
15 “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.