Therefore also now, said the LORD, turn you even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:…
I. A DUTY ENJOINED. Here is at once implied our alienation from God. To say we are turned from Him is to say that we are fallen, depraved, and sinful creatures. We are not to turn from one evil way to another, from one idol to another, from one religious profession to another, but unto God. We cannot turn of ourselves. We need to pray for God's special and enabling grace. The impossibility is not natural but moral, consequently our inability to turn our selves to Him does not lessen our obligation to do so.
II. THE MANNER OF ITS PERFORMANCE. "With the heart." No mere change of opinion, or reformation of life, or outward profession of godliness will suffice. "With our whole heart." God will brook no rival. When the heart, with all its affections, motives, and desires, returns to its rightful owner, there is nothing which delights its owner more than to see it touched with tender contrite sorrow. "With fasting." We approve of using such abstinence as will tend, through grace, to bring the body into subjection to the Spirit. Self-denial is a primary requisite in the religion of Jesus Christ
III. OUR ENCOURAGEMENT TO FULFIL IT. Gracious — merciful — slow to anger, and of great kindness, is the Lord our God. Therefore none need be discouraged.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: