In Deuteronomy 4, Moses was speaking to the people shortly before he died. Beginning at verse fifteen, he warns the people not to fall into idolatry. They had never seen God as a form or shape. Furthermore, the sun, moon, and stars were objects that God had created. Moses told them to be careful so that they would not forget the covenant of the Lord their God for God is a jealous God.
Then Deuteronomy 4:25-31, he pronounced judgment upon them if they were to commit idolatry in the future. They would be utterly destroyed, scattered among the nations, and be required to serve the idols of other nations. But… the big exception was that if they were to turn and to seek God again. If they were to do so, they would find him if they were to seek with their whole heart and soul.
The reason why they would find God and that they could be restored was because God is merciful. Even though they might forget his covenant, God would never forget it. He would not leave them or completely destroy them or forget his covenant.
As we pray for lost loved ones, this scripture in Deuteronomy gives us hope. Even though that family member or friend of yours may be incredibly rebellious, even though this person may live very wickedly, if he or she will turn and seek God with his or her whole heart, God will have mercy on this person.
That is the promise of this scripture in Deuteronomy 4.
But maybe you are thinking, “How far will God’s mercy stretch? Sure, God showed mercy to the Israelites, but my friend, my relative has really spurned God. They have messed up their lives so much … I’m not sure if God can change them and make them whole.”
The big idea of our scripture is this: God delights in allowing seeking sinners to discover his mercy.
While we might feel intimidated to think that God’s mercy is great enough to forgive, change, and restore the worst of sinners, God delights in surprising us.
God longs to welcome the prodigal son or daughter back home. God doesn’t want a person to waste their lives in sin, but God is also ready to forgive the wandering sinner who turns and begins to seek God with his or her whole heart.
So, as we continue praying for our lost loved ones, how should we pray? Let us pray that this person will begin to seek God. Let us pray that this person will seek God with their whole heart. Let us pray that they become so hungry spiritually that every other temporal desire will fade in importance. Let us pray that they will begin to pray to God even if they cannot hear him reply. Let us pray that God will find this lost sinner who has changed their mind.
The night is closing fast … let us be diligent to pray.
© 2009 by David G. Woods, Used by Permission.