If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me…
I. THAT THE WAY WAS LEFT OPEN FOR THE REBELLIOUS TO RETURN.
1. It was the way of reflection.
2. It was the way of confession.
3. It was the way of humiliation.They were not to return proudly, feeling they had not been rewarded according to their iniquities. The way is still open for the vilest to return; for, the New Testament teaches that these are the steps in the ladder of life, out of sin to holiness, from earth to heaven, from self to God, viz.: Repentance, conversion, consecration.
II. THAT IF THE REBELLIOUS RETURNED TO THE LORD IN HIS OWN APPOINTED WAY HE WOULD GRACIOUSLY RECEIVE THEM.
1. He would do so for the sake of their fathers. He would remember His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
2. He would do so for the sake of His name. "For I am the Lord." He had purposed, as well as promised, to deal mercifully with them.
3. He would do so for the sake of the land. He had selected Canaan as the arena where He would specially display His glory to men, and He would not allow it to lie waste for ever.
4. He would do it for the sake of His covenant. "I will remember My covenant." The Lord does not make a covenant and then tear it rashly to pieces; if broken by man He will speedily renew, nor allow the irregularities and irreligion of men to thwart His beneficent arrangements. Here, indeed, was a resplendent bow of many colours, beaming with the beautiful light of the mild and merciful countenance of the Most High. What encouragement for sinful men to return to the Lord, "for He will have mercy upon them, and abundantly pardon." The Levitical law closes with offers of mercy, the last words of the law are words of entreaty and promise.
(W. H. Jellie.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;