(The Lord says) “And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness, and relenting of evil.”
God is telling us here to do a 180 degree turn. To examine our will, heart, soul, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, conscience, and heart to obtain moral character. This is internal where only God sees; not external where people see.
He urges us to do this now, not later when He has become angry. “Anger” here means “with flared nostrils.” This passage goes on to remind us He is full of love for us.
He is also “relenting” which means “to be moved to pity, comfort, and compassion,” on us who have been evil in His sight. “Evil” here is “displeasing, hurtful, unkind, ethically wicked.” It is the “evil deeds, thoughts and actions of people.” So He has pity and compassion on people who fall short of His standard—which includes all of us.
Father God, I bow before You today to rend my heart.
Please bring to mind my thoughts, words, and actions
which have grieved Your heart. I confess them before You
so I can be released from the penalty of my wrongdoings.
Fill me again with Your joy and presence
so we may enjoy fellowship together once more.
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