Had the Lord been a God of stern, mechanical justice, then long ago he might have repudiated his covenant and cast Israel off. He had a deep affection for his people, and had known them more intimately than any of the other nations (Amos 3:2). . . . The Lord repented, not because the people are innocent, but because they are small. His judgment is never final. There is always a dimension of Godâ€™s pervading affection where compassion prevails over justice, where mercy is a perpetual possibility.
– Abraham Joshua Heschel
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