9“But now entreat God’s favor,
That He may be gracious to us.
While this is being done by your hands,
Will He accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.
This verse holds great news for the Israelites. Let’s break it down to see how it applies not only to the Israelites, but also to the modern day Christian.
In verse 9 we see God’s provision for a second chance. Recently I finished up a study on Jonah. In Jonah there is a theme of second chances throughout the book not only for Jonah, but also the Ninevites. It is very Biblical that God gives us second chances…Praise God! In the person of a prophet we see God’s provision of a second chance. A prophet proclaims God’s truth which directs people to turn to God…thus giving us a second chance.
entreat – in the Hebrew means to: be rubbed or worn, to be sick weak or afflicted, be sorry, make sick, beseech, be grieved, be wounded…
In other words our sin should make us so upset that we wear out a path to God. This doesn’t just apply to the Israelites even though this book was written specifically to them. God wants each of us to wear out a path to Him seeking His forgiveness and deliverance. May we be like the Psalmist who said,
I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; Be merciful to me according to Your word. Psalm 119:58
We know that God is merciful and that He does hear us when we call unto Him…unless…
Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. John 9:31
The end of verse 9 is a wake up call for any follower of Christ. We cannot be in sin and ask God to bless us. How many of us are guilty of this? I know I have been. The Bible shows us that sin is such a hinderer between us and God. There is no way that we can be living a life of sin and ask God to over look something so wretched in His sight. That is the whole reason for the sacrifices in the previous verses. Sin separates us from God and only a perfect sacrifice can bring us back into communion with Him. How can an imperfect sacrifice work? It can’t and that is why God is not able to look at them favorably.
Although God is very upset with imperfect sacrifices He is giving His people an opportunity to make things right…the second chance! One other observation that needs to be pointed out is that we cannot deal with sin our own way. God has a specific way and plan all perfectly laid out and it is up to us to align ourselves with His plan. If we follow the course of our own plan it only leads to destruction.
Are we trying to ask God to bless us while at the same time living our life the way we want? Are there things that we need to entreat the Lord about so that He can show us favor?
God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of blessing and favor. God wants to bestow His blessing upon His children.
I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26