Read 2 Kings 13
Focus on verses 4-6
Jehoahaz did evil before the Lord so the Lord used Syria to get his attention by continually attacking Israel. When Jehoahaz finally responds and seeks the Lord, God is merciful – he sends them a savior so that they escape the oppression of the Syrians even though Israel continues to test His patience by continuing to worship idols.
This is not unlike the way that the Lord has treated me as well. When I finally call out to Him because I am all entangled in my sin, He is merciful to rescue me even though I often don’t entirely leave the sin behind. He does this because He is a loving and merciful and patient God, who blesses those who obey Him to the thousandth generation. It may even be on account of the faith and righteousness of my parents or grand parents that I continue to benefit from His mercy.
There is a phrase that recurs frequently in the record of Israel’s kings: “for the sake of your father David”. How many of David’s offspring even several generations removed continued to benefit from the promise that God made to David regarding the throne of Israel? This was very often despite their open rebellion toward God and their flagrant pursuit of idol worship.
I would like to think I am somehow better than they were, however, I suspect I need His mercy and patience as much if not more than they did. How can we not be thankful for the grace and patience of the Lord?