GOD is CALLING us to ‘REPENT’ and ‘RETURN’ to HIM
August 3 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 55-57
"Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)
In anticipation of the restoration of His people, Jehovah God calls upon His people Israel to repent and return (vv. 6, 7). For those who still doubt His call, God reminds them that His plans transcend that of any plans concocted by human beings as humans cannot always accurately read and understand the ways of God (vv. 8, 9). It is absolutely certain that nothing can stop what God has decreed so far (vv. 11-13).
The pathway of blessing lies in seeking the Lord and in forsaking sin! Those who repent and return to God will find Him full of mercy and pardon. The term “thoughts” refers to one’s intentions, goals, or ambitions (Gen. 6:5; Ps. 33:10). The term “way” speaks of the schemes and methods by which a person tries to reach his goals apart from God. So, God is counseling the wicked and sinners to give up their personal self-exalting ambitions and schemes to reach their self-satisfying goals in which God is not in the equation.
God’s free gift of salvation is offered to all who will receive it, and He promises an everlasting covenant to the Gentiles like the one He established with Israel. His invitation to all men is clearly stated by His invitation: “Seek the Lord…call upon Him”, which is conditioned by the phrases: “while He may be found…while He is near”.
To those who genuinely repent and turn to Him, God promises mercy and pardon. In fact, to seek the Lord is to seek His Word (Amos 5:6, 14; Acts 17:27). God requires living faith, as indicated in repentance and change of behavior (James 2:18; 1 John 1:3–5). When the sinner repents and turns to Christ by faith, God shows mercy and grants pardon, and it is advisable that no one should delay in this matter (Prov. 1:20–33).
This marvelous call of God is extended to us today! Let us look into our lives and see if we are living our lives apart from God. If so, now is the time to repent and return back to God. If we do that, we can be assured of the fact that God will pardon our sins completely and restore our fellowship with Him again!