“Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God…” (Jer. 3:12-13)
The book of Jeremiah deals extensively with the backsliding nation of Israel. The people of Israel had turned from their God Jehovah, and were serving gods made of wood and gold. The second and third chapters of Jeremiah contain the Lord’s plea for His people to return to Him. Yet Israel wouldn’t even acknowledge that they had sinned!
“Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.” (Jer. 2:35)
In order to have mercy, Israel had only to acknowledge that they had sinned,and to forsake those sins. In Proverbs, Jehovah stated plainly that,
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
Yet Israel refused. Why? Perhaps because they were to full of pride to admit that they had done wrong. But aren’t we the same way? We will go for months and months in a sin, not because we aren’t aware of the sin, but because we are too prideful to admit that we are wrong!
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”
The pride of life is a dangerous thing. Even though God had promised to withhold His wrath from them, Israel still refused to repent- and they suffered for it. How can we expect to avoid the same punishment? We must confess and forsake our sins if we are to be spared the judgment of God.