The Lord’s love toward His people is unending. His mercy that has forgiveness and grace is infinite. Because He loves them, He shows mercy that explains His knowledge of them and kindness toward them. Once He chooses us He never lets us go. He may put us through the consequences of our actions so that we realize the need for His favor, but He never forsakes us. No matter the situation we are in, because we are chosen for His namesake, He heeds our cry. The biggest enemy of the Lord’s people is sin and those that covet it. Satan is the mastermind of it all. The only reason believers go distant from God is the many forms of sin. If there is no sin, there is no transgression and hence, no bad consequences. But the appearance of sin in man makes transgression a hurdle to a complete and precious intimacy with God. In spite of it God has permitted a way to reach Him. He did it with love alone. It is beseeching His favor. “Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the LORD, and the LORD listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them” (2 Kings 13:4).
Israel under the rule of Jehoahaz continually sinned against God by walking in the sins of Jeroboam. So, God too continually gave them over to the hands of their enemies. Satan had one of the best of times at this juncture and then when they were disciplined for their transgression. But the suffering from the consequences was an eye opener to Israel. As one in charge Jehoahaz sought God’s favor, and God listened. Satan often wishes to have the best of times with us. In fact, he even seeks God’s permission to tempt or sift us. He seeks to destroy our potential that can immensely glorify God. Many or all fall for his schemes at one place or the other. But when we seek God’s favor realizing the burden of consequences, He gives mercy. In fact, He longed to show mercy; He has been waiting. The Lord is always with merciful attitude toward us.
The consequences of transgression can be one of many burdens or all of them: financial disturbance, emotional unrest, loss of dignity, and loss of health, loss of friends/relationships all of which contribute to loss of peace, joy and comfort. Even at this point if one has the mind to beseech the Lord’s favor, he or she will be fully revived, reconciled and refilled. He will make way to pull them out of the hole they are in. Some physically related conditions appeared through consequences may remain in them, but the Lord will fully satisfy them with alternatives. In that condition He uses them for His glory. Many having not fully comprehended His mercy assume that all is lost because of sin. But it is farther from the truth. Nevertheless, it is up to us how we continue once we are brought on to a level surface. An example of consequence is the following. “Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, ‘Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.’ So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish’” (2 Chron. 20:37).
It was not God’s will for Jehoshaphat to ally with Ahaziah, because Ahaziah walked in all the ways of Jeroboam. Therefore, the consequences of it resulted in the destruction of ships that were made to carry gold from Ophir. Then when Ahaziah again wanted to send his servants along with Jehoshaphat’s, the latter denied (1 Kings 22:49). Consequences teach how to walk with God. More importantly, they teach how crucial He is to one’s life. Believers may purposefully or foolishly sin against the Lord, but when they beseech His favor, He quickly leans toward them. When one seeks His favor, he or she is asking Him for a way to escape consequences and sin through confessing. Then, regardless of their situation or whether or not they overcome it, He will provide a way of escape. The point is that it is not in a person to overcome any sinful condition or its consequence, but it is in the power and ways that God supplies in His mercy. Many when in sin do not seek God for His help, because they feel it to be unwise, wrong, shameful or even intimidating. It is nothing but Satan’s deception; he does not want them to return to God. So, he continually causes confusion. Yet, if one is able to seek His favor, He will certainly be saved. One has to have the desire to return to God and be intimate with Him; for this he or she must have loved Him to love Him again. Then the consequence will be splendid. “He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters” (Ps. 18:16).
God will plan ways that none have imagined. From many troubles He is able to rescue. Our mind can never envisage His plans, but He makes them for us. He will by His power let us walk in them and we are delivered. Sin and all those who embrace it with the power of Satan always confront us. Yet, God has His ways to rescue us and set us on a higher ground. Bad consequences mean losing time, resources, energy, blessings and intimacy with God along with the joy that could be ours. On the other hand, to be drawn out of many troubles mean recovering all that we lost. The wise and immediate thing to do if we stepped out of God’s way is seek His favor in the following manner. “I cling to Your testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame!” (Ps. 119:31). Do the best we can to please Him and He will provide/help us to overcome the rest. This will save us from great calamity; it saves many things concerned to us. Herein we clearly understand the depth of His mercy and goodness toward us.
God quickly listens to our beseeching for the following reasons.
- To be His weapons. “You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms” (Jer. 51:20). God has mighty plans for us. Until He completes all of them in us He will neither sleep nor slumber. He has chosen us for a great purpose. We are called to fight the forces of darkness around us and the wicked spiritual forces. Whatever calling each one of us has, it is ultimately geared to fight and win over sin and Satan.
- To uphold His name. God questioned Israel saying, “You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?’” (Mal. 3:14). They did not desire to return to Him and so, blamed Him. But He expects larger hearts from those that beseech Him. He wishes to prove there is every profit in keeping His charge and that it is utterly benefitting to serve Him and that weeping will always turn to immense joy.
- To be burden free. Ultimately this is His wish for us. It is for this reason He sent Jesus. “SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, ‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN’” (Matt. 21:5). He wants to set us free. He loves to see us enjoy the riches of His grace.