One of the freedoms that man has received from the Lord is the ability to refuse to listen to Him. Man has exercised that freedom many times. Here is an account of one of those times:
“But they refused to hearken, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts like adamant lest they should hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:11-12).
But God has the same kind of freedom that He has given man. Here is His response: “As I called and they would not hear, so they called and I would not hear” (Zechariah 7:13). This is a dreadful statement. He had also said, “I will not listen” 200 years earlier and 100 years earlier in Isaiah 1:15 and Jeremiah 11:11.
There is something that God will listen to, though. He will listen to a prayer of repentance. But repentance is more than the words, “I’m sorry.” Repentance is a change of heart, mind, and action. Look at the conditions for repentance in Isaiah 1:16-18:
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they will be as wool.”
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