Despite the sins of the people. God is eager to forgive as soon as they return to Him. His anger does not burn forever. He is a merciful God.
That does not mean that we can presume upon His mercy. We cannot assume that He will forgive the unrepentant. We have seen the destruction of the wicked.
Every action carries within itself the seed of its own reward or punishment. The reward of fidelity and obedience to God is His favor. The reward of disobedience and faithlessness is separation from God.
"Who is knocking at the door of my heart?"
Pleading, "A lonely little sin."
"Slip in" we whisper.
And all of hell is in!
Disobedience and faithlessness is sin. And it doesn't matter if the sin is a big one or a little one. Sin is sin, and it's always bad.
But repentance -- a real change of heart and action -- appeal to God's mercy and forgiveness.
If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9 - paraphrased by me)
No one is like God. We have a hard time forgiving even the repentant. But God is eager to forgive at the first sign of repentance.
Show us Your mercy. Help us to realize the all-or-nothing-ness of obedience and faithfulness. Keep us faithful to you. And grant us the heart to forgive others as You have forgiven us.
In Jesus' most precious name.