KEY VERSE: “And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them” (2 Kings 13:4).
An evangelist of repute once yielded to temptation and fell into the sin of immorality. It became a scandal and he was devastated. His ministry was ruined. How was he to pick up the pieces of his broken life? By God’s goodness and mercy, he was restored to fellowship and to the ministry, and in gratitude to God, he composed these verses: “For years I traveled a road all wrong, My heart had lost its joy and song; Till grace placed me right where I belong; When mercy rewrote my life.
His mercy rewrote my life. I could have fallen and my soul cast down. But mercy rewrote my life. My mistakes that day He turned into miracle, my tears he turned into joy, all past sins were forgiven and a new name was written…” Now, let us turn to the case of Israel, “And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him… And the LORD gave Israel a Saviour (verses 4,5). Genuine repentance attracts God’s free and undeserved mercy. The oppression of Israel moved Him to a decisive action against Syria. The infectious sin of Jeroboam had contaminated successive kings and its multiplier effects resonated throughout all Israel.
God does not want His people to be oppressed. He forgave their sins and showed them mercy not so much for their repentance as for the humble plea of Jehoahaz. Leaders and pastors must always be spiritually alert to stand in the gap for the people, to identify the presence of sin in their lives, and ask God for mercy or forgiveness.
Thought for the day: God saves but also judges.