Listen to today’s devo!

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. (Isa. 1:18)

Jean Valjean, the main character of the French novel Les Misérables, had to learn a lesson about forgiveness and new beginnings. After being released from prison, Valjean found shelter in the home of Bishop Myriel. In spite of Myriel’s generosity, Valjean decided to steal his host’s valuable silverware. However, the police apprehended Valjean and brought him back to the Bishop. Instead of accusing the ex-convict of committing the crime, Bishop Myriel told the police that the silverware had been a gift. Privately, Myriel told Valjean to use the valuables stolen to have a fresh start and become an honest man.

There is a turn of events in Isaiah 1. God initially presented charges of rebellion and unfaithfulness against his people, making it very clear that they were guilty. Suddenly, God wanted to settle the legal dispute. With a gesture of incredible mercy, God offered to forgive the people’s sin. They were offered a fresh start. They were given a chance to restore their covenant relationship with God. But covenants are not unconditional; their nature demands faithfulness to promises made by the parties involved.

There is something special about undeserved new beginnings and fresh starts. But when they happen, we must realize that loyalty is expected from us. Jean Valjean was urged to become an honest man. Judah was compelled to be obedient to God.

Reaffirm your commitment to walk faithfully before God.

Luigi Peñaranda is an associate professor of global leadership and Latino/Latina Christian studies at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.