I was angry, good and angry, because of Israel’s sins. I struck him hard and turned away in anger, while he kept at his stubborn, willful ways. When I looked again and saw what he was doing, I decided to heal him, lead him, and comfort him.—Isaiah 57:17–18 (MSG)
THE OLD TESTAMENT has many instances of God’s followers experiencing hardship and learning life lessons the hard way. However, today’s verse shows that God is merciful. His teaching is clear and simple: sin leads to pain and obedience leads to blessing. When you take this lesson to heart, you spare yourself difficulties and experience His grace.