"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says:
In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
You said: No, we will flee on horses.
Therefore, you will flee!
You said: We will ride off on swift horses.
Therefore, your pursuers will be swift!
A thousand will flee
at the threat of one;
at the threat of five,
you will all flee away,
till you are left
like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a banner on a hill.
Yet, the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore, He will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him!"
God told Israel what to do - how to live their lives under His blessing. They chose to do something else. God was laying out for them the consequences of their behaviour. But, even then, God hasn't given up on them.
As I read these verses, I'm struck by how much this same scenario can play out in my own life. I think it's common in the lives of many - sometimes in big ways, but more often in little ways.
God tells us what He has for us to do in this time. He gives us the way to find the salvation and strength for everyday life that we are looking for. We might have even asked Him for it. But, we don't want it that way, so we refuse. We rebel and choose disobedience to God.
Our rebellion and disobedience has consequences in our lives. God doesn't just let it slide. He will let us live with the consequences of our choices.
But, there is still good news for us. Even when we refuse to obey and our dealing with the consequences of our sine, God still longs to show us compassion. If we turn back to Him and His ways, He will be gracious and we will experience His compassion.
Is there an area in your life where God has shown you what to do and you've decided to go you own way instead?
Are you living in the consequences of your disobedience?
Will you confess it to God and turn from it?
Once we have done that, we are able to walk forward in the life God has planned for us.