O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto his, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.
As with Israel, when we find ourselves away from the Lord, there is a certain point which we must come to in order to return to Him. These verses give us an important point we must reach.
First, in verse two, we find that we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness, mercy and favour. Then, in verse three, we find the need to come to the realization that we can not help ourselves. I like what the Lord wants the Israelites to say. They have to realize that Asshur will not save them and their horses will not save them. They are also not going to worship the work of their hands. And I like how the verse ends: “…for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”
Once a person realizes that he can not help himself and that the Lord is the only source of mercy, they have made a huge step in the right direction. Once we stop worshipping ourselves, we are free to worship the One Who can help us. At that point, we can move to verse four:
“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” We all have a tendency to backslide. If and when we find ourselves in that position, we have a blueprint here on how to return to the Lord.