God, in His all-sovreignty, could have thumped them right off the edge of the earth and started all over. Instead, He gave them a chance for repentance.
"Where are you?", He asked.
He gave them a chance for repentance.
He pursued them even when they weren't worth pursuing.
Oh my glory, I love that.
Many years later Abraham found out his nephew, Lot, was taken captive by the enemy. Abraham gathered 318 of his trained family members to go get him. They pursued until they found him and brought him back along with all of his possessions.
The word for pursue is "radaph" and it means
to pursue ardently, aim eagerly to secure, pursue; to chase after.
When I know someone who is not walking with the Lord, I can call on prayer warriors who will battle with me until they are back where they are supposed to be, losing nothing.
Psalm 23:6 says "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." The word "follow"? Yep, it is "radaph". And because Jesus told the rich young ruler not to call Him good, but to use that word for God alone, you could say that "Surely God in His mercy will chase me down ardently all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
He loves me so much that He pursues me. All the days of my life.
That is beautiful to me.
He loves the ones I love so much that He unleashes the armies of heaven when I ask Him to, and hunts them down and brings them back to Him.
That is amazing to me.