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Someone has said that the key to making wise decisions is to consider the consequences—think about the outcome of our actions before we act. That is something ancient Israel did not do, even though they had clear warnings about the consequences. At Mt Sinai, they entered into a covenant with God, promising to keep His laws in exchange for His blessings. God spelled out explicit consequences if they failed to comply, but they ignored them. As a result, they experienced the disaster of exile for 70 years. Psalm 85 reflects their regret and lament at what happened to them. The psalmist is grateful that God let them return home, but he pleads for God to restore His favor and again bless the people and their land. He writes, “Restore us again, O God of our salvation. Put aside your anger against us once more. Will you be angry with us always? Will you prolong your wrath to all generations? Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.” Today, we don’t live under the Old Covenant, but God’s holy nature is the same. He calls us to trust Him and obey His word. If we fail to do so, unexpected outcomes will follow. When they do, only true repentance and faith in Him can restore His favor.

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