Each of us must acknowledge the eternal sovereignty of the Lord. Note what the preacher stated, “Thou, O lord, remainest for ever; Thy throne from generation to generation” (v.19).
The throne of Judah is fallen, but not so with the throne of God. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace ” Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,” (Isa.9:6,7).
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Israel, and all the nations of the earth will rise and fall, but God’s ” kingdom is for ever. ”
Regardless how desperate the people of God may be, the Lord can restore them, as well as a nation “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;” (Jonah.3.:10).
If the throne of God was like the changeable government of earth, there would be no prospect of recovery “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” (I.Pet.4:7) The end will come one day for the world.
All true prayer has the assurance of being heard and answered in the fact of the righteousness of an unchangeable God “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (II.Tim.1:12).
Rejection will continue the absence of Divine favor. “Wherefore doest Thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?” (v.20) If thy government is continues, why are we forgotten and abandoned?
If thy throne in heaven is immovable, why is thy Throne in our earthly Zion over thrown? Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world: ” (Jh.18:36).
“Thou didst once care for us and love us, and the memory of that happy time still keeps our hope alive “ The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer.31:3).
Thy favor was the joy and the sunshine of our lives, its absence is at the root of all our misery.
Cast us not a way from thy presence and take not thy Spirit from us. “Restore unto us the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Ps.51:12).
We must not forget that supplication is the grace of genuine repentance.
Note verse (v.21) Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; renew our days of old.”
Repentance is a turning about “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” (Ac.8:22).
For some time the course of Judah had been in one direction, wandering from God, and sinking into ever lower depths of sin and misery “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin,”
What has brought this about? “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.“(Jon.1:2). We must not for get that sin bring judgment.
True prayer recognizes that God alone can give repentance and renew us. ” renew our days. of old.” (v.21).
When the heart is changed, our outward circumstances soon alter for the better ‘Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (I.Pt.3:3,4)
When Judah regained the favor of God, she also regained lost temporal blessings “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Repentance is urged with the assurance that God cannot reject the true repentance. Note (v.22 ) “But thou Lord hast utterly rejected us, thou art very wroth against us.”
The question may be ask, Will thou be angry with us beyond measure?
The miserable results of their rejection by the Lord become the ground of a confident appeal to him.
The last cry of this book indicates that the turning of people to God is the great thing to be desired.
Not a restoration to external possessions and comfort, but a turning to God consequent on his turning to us “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)