The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place.
(2 Chronicles 36:15)
Last Thursday, we observed the simple fact from the Old Testament that the mere existence of a king in Israel reflected the heart of the people of Israel. They had rejected God as their King, so God gave them the king they wanted (1 Samuel 12:12).
In contrast, let’s observe the flip side of the coin: the mere existence of a prophet reflected the heart of God for the people of Israel. It was pretty bad in Israel. God’s people (and their kings) had wholesale rejected God. That is the setting. But did God just give up and walk away? No.
Take a moment to ponder the above passage from 2 Chronicles 36:15. Here are a few brief points from verse 15:
Because he had compassion.
What was God’s heart? Compassion. We may think the prophet was only there to call in coordinates for God’s next bombing raid. That was Jonah’s thinking, and God had a whale of a job trying to correct Jonah’s attitude. James and John had this same mentality and Jesus rebuked them as well (Luke 9:55). God’s ways are not our ways, thankfully (Isaiah 55). He sees souls that are broken, souls in need of restoration and redemption. He sees people and relationships, and he longs for us to come home.
God’s messengers sent a message from God’s heart.
The prophets are messengers sent to pour out God’s heart to the people. The messages of the prophets are pretty simple: Repent, Remember, Return, Restore, Redemption.
God’s messengers were sent persistently.
Because God loved them and had a deep compassion for them, he didn’t just try once or twice, He sent loads of prophets over hundreds of years! Those prophets were mocked, despised, rejected and murdered, yet God sent more and more. Again, the prophet was a symbol for the heart of God – because God loved, God sent the prophets.
Again, verse 15 says “his people.” This reflects that God cared more about the relationships and the people. To God, they were worth it.
So, what about you and me? If the mere existence of a prophet reflected the heart of God for Israel, what is reflected in my heart when others disobey God and are not walking with Him? Does my heart align with God’s heart of compassion, persistence, and a desire for reconciliation?