Who Knows

 

“God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.”

Billy Graham

Our nation began their downhill spiral when the Ten Commandments were removed from schools and abortion was legalized. What began as a nation founded upon “In God we trust,” soon became a nation whose dependence was placed in themselves. Each year brings more depravity and a greater separation from God. Like the city of Nineveh in the book of Jonah, the United States deserves judgment.

When the king of Nineveh heard God’s judgment would come in forty days, he proclaimed a fast and encouraged the Ninevites to repent of their evil ways. In Jonah 3:9, the king says, “Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from His fierce anger so that we will not perish.” If people repent, God just might relent.

In the book of Joel the prophet entreats the nation of Israel to rend their hearts and to return to the Lord. Joel reminds the people their God is “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.” (Joel 2:13-14)

One of my favorite prayers is found in Daniel 9:4-19. Throughout Daniel’s prayer of repentance he focuses on who God is. He humbly takes responsibility for their sin and confesses their unfaithfulness. Daniel beseeches God for His mercy and petitions Him to listen to their cry for His favor. I encourage you to stop reading this post and take a few minutes to pray aloud Daniel’s prayer for the United States of America. We desperately need God to hear our prayers and to act on behalf of our nation.

Our repentance is not a format to manipulate God to extend mercy to us. Neither would His mercy be based on our own righteousness. “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.” (Daniel 9:18) Rather our prayers and hope rest in the knowledge of God’s character. Jonah’s reflection upon God’s characteristics acknowledges that God is “a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” (Jonah 4:2)

Priscilla Shirer says, “Knowing that He longs to be gracious and compassionate to us should be just what we need to have hope in seemingly hopeless situations.” Even though we don’t deserve God’s kindness and favor, let’s still call out to Him for His mercy because who knows, He may relent if we repent.

“The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Relevant Reflection:

Spend time confessing your own sin and repenting for the sins of our nation. Cry out to God for His mercy.

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2 Responses to Who Knows

  1. Diane Williams says:

    Thank you, Dear Norma for this encouraging word and timely reminder of the bigger picture and the historical, documented actions our nation has taken to arrive at the place we now find ourselves. I’m praying with renewed zeal regarding this. Although I am not one for t- shirts and bumper stickers, I am tempted to get one of each reading: If we repent, He may relent! 😉 Love, Diane Williams

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