How often do we like to blame God or other people for the consequences of our own sin? We want to rail against the establishment and accuse those above us with some obscure failure. Why? The last thing a normal human wants to do is take responsibility for our failures. We have no problem claiming our successes, but absolutely abhor taking the fall for our own stupidity. Yahweh does not give us that out. He clearly tells His people that, "your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you." Their punishment is going to be painful and difficult, but they have brought it upon themselves; therefore, they will have to eventually accept responsibility for it. This is such a powerful lesson to teach our children. When they mess up, they take responsibility for their mistake and apologize or make amends. When we teach them to do that in everyday life situations, they will also learn to do that with God. He is the One who forgives our foolish sin, because He is the One our sin is against. Judah was about to face the worst experience of their existence. Everything they held dear would either be destroyed or taken from them, and they were to blame for it. In all of that, God still promises them forgiveness if they will return to Him. He does not want their religious acts; He wants real acts from the heart that show a deep sorrow and repentance for their sin. Their words, actions, reactions, and attitudes all play a role in that return to Him. He is not okay with half-hearted or consequential repentance; Yahweh wants us to see the seriousness of sin and with broken hearts repent and return to Him.

Help me, Lord, to see the seriousness of my sin and humbly repent and return to You. Help me to stop blaming everyone else for my difficult circumstances and admit that my sin is the reason for it all.