March 20

Deuteronomy 4:29-31a 29But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31aFor the LORD your God is a merciful God...

Moses warned the people that if they worshiped other gods and did not keep the covenant, they would become captives of other nations. God states that the reason is because He is a jealous God. The word for 'jealous' in Hebrew includes the meaning of a white-hot fire. God is passionate about those He has chosen. He will bring into their lives whatever it will take to turn them back to the good. He promised in this passage that if from the place of slavery, you will seek the LORD, you will find Him. It is conditional on a big "if." The condition is looking with all your heart and soul. That is why they went into captivity, their hearts were mixed, thinking satisfaction and fulfillment lay in God plus something else.

God allows distress to come into our lives to turn us back to Him. Then we get a sense of the reality of life without Him and become desperate to be in Him. That is when He will help us turn back to Him. Why? Why would God want His unfaithful bride back after she so willingly sought other lovers?

He is merciful. The LORD our God is a merciful God. Mercy forgives and forgets and loves once again. We have been recipients of this mercy as Israel was. It is now our duty to be merciful to others. Forgive and forget and love again so that you will be a reflection of the wonderful God who loves you.

Consider: Whom do I need to forgive, and what steps will I take to see that I do?