Old Testament Lesson
The Lord says that for His name sake, He would refrain from bringing judgement against the people. For His name's sake, He would not. Because of who He is, what His reputation is, the very nature of who God is, He would refrain. God is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiveness, always looking to forgive, to bring home, to restore, to save. That is the very nature of who God. That is the core of His relationship with us. He has every right. But, He refrains. And, instead, He gives grace.
New Testament Lesson
Paul tells the people how shocked he is that they have left the gospel that He has taught, this gospel of God's grace, and salvation through grace, not by works. They have left the Gospel to return to a salvation by works. A salvation that says that they have to earn God's love. That it is not freely given, it must be earned based off what you do. Paul says, no! You have been saved not be your own works, but by God's grace! Live in that freedom.
And the same is true today. You don't have to earn God's love. He simply loves you. Live in that freedom, the freedom of God's love to you, and let your works flow from that.
We see in the miracles of Jesus this simple notion of faith. They had faith, even when there was no reason to have faith. The believed, even when there was no reason to believe. They had hope, even when there was no reason to hope.
Because they knew the power of Jesus. They trusted in Him, even when there was no reason.
May we do the same.