The Only Way Left
Father, I know that You long to be gracious and You are slow to anger. Let me not try Your patience but turn.
How is God challenging you to grow in character?
The glory of the Lord God Almighty is revealed in many ways: in the beauty, provision and wisdom of creation (6), in his loving kindness and patience, in his faithfulness to his covenant, and in his many deliverances of his people (7). Here, God's glory and holiness are to be revealed in judgment (5).
Such has been his people's proud contempt for the Lord, for his Law, for the poor and the vulnerable, and for God's holiness itself, there is no way back. They have refused all previous overtures (4:6-12; 7:10-17). Judgment is the only holy response, the only way left for God to be faithful to the covenant that has been so utterly broken by his people.
Judgment will begin with their corrupt and idolatrous Temple (1), the very heart of the corruption of the nation, and will spread out from there. There is no escape to be had (2-4). They have rejected all the escape routes God had previously given them. While God's love is inexhaustible, judgment does come on the unrepentant. It is only God's mercy and lovingkindness that ever stay his hand (Rom. 11:22-24).
In light of God's righteous judgment, consider the life offered in Jesus, who gave all that we could be forgiven.
Lord, You are holy. Let us never make light of the cost that Jesus paid to save us, but live worthy of our calling in Christ.