But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now, (13:23).
The northern kingdom of Israel is sliding ever downward, further and further away from His invitation to live in relationship with Holy God, to live as His Covenant People and dwell in His Presence and Blessings. And as they bear out the consequences of willfully choosing their own way, here, a glimmer of hope appears.
Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them. 5 The Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly, (13:4-5).
And for a moment it seems as though this king has come to his senses. Desperation and need have a tendency to do that. And the LORD listened to him! Don’t miss that. Although Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu of Israel, “did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them” (13:2); and the kingdom now suffered the judgment brought on by his sin, still God listened, saw their oppression and sent a deliverer.
Surely this would be the beginning of revival in response to His military might demonstrated in His kind provision.
But unfortunately, and nevertheless… “Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria,” (13:6).
And although the northern kings and kingdom of Israel repeatedly rejected Him, His Compassion Corroborated every one of His Covenant Promises, even until now.
Consider His Covenant Corroborated by His Compassion
Corroborate: “to confirm or give support to (a statement, theory, or finding); support with evidence or authority; make more certain; to add information in support of an idea, opinion or statement.”
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Concern for the condition of His people.
- Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them, (13:4).
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Capability to deliver His people.
- The Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly, (13:5).
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Care in yet another manifestation of His power over death.
- Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. 21 As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet, (13:20-21).
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Character in extending His grace in withholding judgment.
- But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now, (13:23).
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Choosing will never be rescinded.
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Control over the course of mankind.
- His Compassion Corroborated His Covenant Constancy to His Word, even until now.
How do we respond to His Covenant Corroborated by His Compassion?
I never cease to be amazed by His Covenant, dependent upon none but Him, and His Compassion continually extended in His grace and His longsuffering.
His Word Corroborates that it is His very heart, longing and waiting to bring all to His Covenant of Compassion, if we will but respond and come in humility and repentance to Him.
Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him, (Isaiah 30:18).
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9).
Today, that we would respond and come. That we would grow in our faith and obedience; and grow in our knowledge, convinced we are His, chosen and kept by His Covenant, and Corroborated not by who we are or what we have done, but by His Compassion that brought us out of the bondage of sin.
“The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Deuteronomy 7:7-9).
May we never be like King Jehoahaz of Israel and his followers, only entreating His favor in our times of desperate need. It is unbearable to think that we would experience such grace and compassion and then have it said of us, “Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins… but walked in them,” (13:6).
Oh, may this never be an appraisal of our lives, and may we never take His Compassion for granted.
Today as we close, let’s consider the commentary on His Covenant Corroborated by His Compassion from His Holy Word, repeatedly revealed through His Concern, Capability, Care, Character, Choosing, Control and Constancy, and in such contrast to the “Nevertheless” analysis of the northern kingdom:
- “Nevertheless, in Your great compassion You did not make an end of them or forsake them, For You are a gracious and compassionate God,” (Nehemiah 9:31).
- Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name,
That He might make His power known…
44 Nevertheless He looked upon their distress
When He heard their cry;
45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake,
And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness.
46 He also made them objects of compassion
In the presence of all their captors, (Psalm 106:8, 44-46).
- “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you,” (Ezekiel 16:60).
- Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19).
Let us entreat Him daily, to grow us in our desire to wholeheartedly commune with Him all the days of our lives, convinced He will faithfully keep us, no matter what.
Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand, (Psalm 73:23).
And may we commit our lives as His witnesses to share the good news of His Covenant Corroborated by His Compassion.
I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us—
yes, the many good things
he has done for Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses, (Isaiah 63:7 NIV).