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The Spirit

The Spirit of Grace and Supplication

Israel had seen God’s delivering power time after time in their history. He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. He had brought them into the land of promise and had given them victory over the pagan nations which were there. He had delivered them from repeated attacks from invaders. When, despite his continued protection, they worshipped other gods, he removed his protecting hand and let them fall to the Assyrians and Babylonians.

And yet, God promised that there would come a king who would bring complete freedom from the oppressor. His kingdom would fill the earth, and would never end. With the coming of the king, justice would at last prevail. Israel would be free.

But Israel, as always, had been short-sighted. They could only see into the material realm. Because they did not exercise faith, they could not see the realities of the spiritual realm. Consequently, when God sent the promised king to them, they rejected him. They did not merely ignore him, but they killed him, executing him like a common criminal.

It would be easy to conclude that, due to this ultimate rejection of God and his provision for Israel’s salvation, God would completely turn his back on them. But God keeps his promises. He is always true to his word and true to his character. He had promised that he would redeem Israel, and would send his Messiah to rule over them. That promise would not go unfulfilled.

The promise still remains that God will pour out on the house of David, the king of Israel who followed the Lord with his whole heart, and on Jerusalem, the city where the Lord placed his name, a spirit of grace and supplication. Out of his love and faithfulness to his own word, God will turn the heart of Israel to himself. He will cause them to seek after him whom they had rejected. He will grant them repentance and forgiveness. And he will make a fountain which will wash them and cleanse them from all their sin.

God’s heart is always to forgive. His hand of protection is always around us. But when we consistently reject him, we will experience the failure that results from going our own way and feel that God has completely turned his back on us. But his spirit of grace and supplication continues to draw us to himself. As our hearts turn fully to him, we walk in his forgiveness, and like a fountain, the blood of Jesus washed us and cleanses us from our sin.