Yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, nor shall I abhor them, to utterly destroy them and break My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God. (Leviticus 26:44)
Never has God desired to impose death and destruction upon His people. In fact, it seems to me that judgement is almost always the last resort when His people have become insensitive to His Voice. So then in every situation, judgment is always followed by the promise of mercy and redemption. Though His anger is severe at times, it is not everlasting. He is far more merciful than He is judgmental. Because He has sworn to be their God, He will never forsake them even if He allows them to be subjected to the ire of their enemies.
That being said, He does require a change of heart in His people and so He places this condition on their restoration — “if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers.” Then He will remember the covenant that He made with our forefathers, which means He will begin to act on behalf of their descendants. Still, for every generation that finds itself on the receiving end of God’s justice, we must acknowledge our sins and that of our errant forefathers. When we humble ourselves, then He relents and clears a path that leads to restoration.
So consider this today: redemption, forgiveness of sin and a desire for mankind to be reconciled to his Creator is not exclusively a New Testament concept. Actually, we see this from the very beginning. Even as He is forcing Adam and Eve to leave the Garden because of disobedience, He gives them the promise of a Redeemer — the Seed of the Woman. The promise given on the heels of judgment is that there is a Coming One who will crush the serpent and deliver mankind from sin, thus providing for us a way that leads back to the Garden, and more importantly, back to God.
There is a requirement imposed upon us, however: we must acknowledge our sin and be “born again.” So then, let us be certain that we have done just that; and if need be, acknowledge and turn from anything that would offend our Maker that we might recipients of His mercy and not His anger.
Blessings and Shalom,