Summary: God desires judment to result in repetence leading to deliverance.
“Obedience Is Better Than Judgment”
I. The Repentance of the People (14-17)
• It was the repentance of the people that would restore the blessings back to the land.
o God was waiting and ready to once again pour out His riches upon His people, once they turned from evil and returned back to Him.
o We find this true even of heathen nations (Assyrians)
Jonah 3:10 (NASB95)
10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
• This was not the alarm trumpet (vs. 1), but the sounding of the trumpet that was used to call the people together.
o All the people; old, young, and busy were to assemble together for the sake of hearing God’s holy word that they might repent.
o This is still our command today; its one of the reasons it is important for us as Christians to come together.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NASB95)
24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
• The protection of God over His people is something that even the unbelieving nations took notice of:
o Daniel 3:28-29; 6:26
o How important is our testimony, Paul thought it was important enough that we should be willing to even be wronged in order to keep a good testimony.
1 Corinthians 6:6-7 (NASB95)
6 but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?
II. The Deliverance of God (18-27)
• This is the promise that follows true biblical repentance.
• God will restore the land and remove their enemies.
o “Northern army” does not just refer to the Assyrians or the Babylonians. General statement meaning all their enemies (geography of the land).
• God’s people will be and are currently being delivered from the enemy of God.
• This is also God’s promise to restore all things: His land, His beasts, and His people.
• God restores all those things that had been removed from them because of their sin.
o God also promises to restore all things to the way He had created them, before they were ruined by the fall of man.
o We see the destructive nature of sin all around us, but we also see God’s glory displayed in the same.
o That’s why Paul can claim this:
Romans 1:20 (NASB95)
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
• God also promises to restore His presence in the midst of His people.
• This process has already began with the first coming of Christ, again it is the repentance and the rending of our hearts that begins turning judgment into blessings.
• We also know that this promise will be fully realized after Christ’s second coming and the coming of God’s new creation.