“Then the Lord was jealous for his land, And had pity on his people.”
The pleas of the priests are heard by the Lord and He listens to their cry for mercy and grace. God does not change His mind, but in His forbearance is showing us His dedication to justice and will always give way to mercy.
“Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
There are many mysteries in the Scripture and many aspects of God’s character we do not understand, but we know He is the sovereign Lord and He decides to relent or punish the guilty. The pleadings of the prophet are heard by the people and they now turn. The people and their leaders and the whole nation repents before the Lord and the wrath of God passes and He forgives the sin of the people. The Lord is full of pity for the creatures He has made and will turn from His wrath at their pleadings, if sincere.
The Lord is also jealous of His people, and will not hand them over to the judgment of the wicked without mercy. He is jealous that they should not suffer the ignominy of going into destitution, even though they deserve it. He will not bring judgment on His land unless there is no repentance.
“You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the Lord in the outcome, and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
The pity of the Lord has saved His people from certain destruction. The Lord softens their heart to believe and they turn and are saved. So also with us. When we hear God speak into our mind and conscience, may we repent and put all our trust in Him.