“Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved” (Psalm 80:19, NLT).
Sometimes my kids didn’t listen too well, especially when they were toddlers. I remember having to place my hands on either side of their heads to turn their faces toward me. That’s when they looked me in the eyes and I knew I had their attention.
Adults are the same, especially when it comes to listening to God. We get distracted and focused on everything but him. God knows this about us and doesn’t necessarily expect us to have the strength or discipline to keep focused, so he brings our attention back to him. In the bigger sense, he is also the one who turns our lives to him. Left to ourselves, we would go our merry way, ignorant of his grace and oblivious to how much he loves us. With patience and mercy, he turns our faces around (which is the meaning of repentance) and shines his own on us.