The Lord has been telling a story throughout the centuries and generations. He has been showing the people who He is and what He requires. He has also been showing the people who they are and how, in their sin and rebellion, they fall short of what He requires.

For this reason, we see that, while holiness and obedience is the requirement of the Lord for His people, he has made a provision so that those who are unrighteous are able to be reconciled to Him. One might think that God would require a people who promise to try harder next time or who have shown that they can do better.

Instead we find something very different. We find that while the Lord does require turning from sin, the Lord also requires humility and dependence.

… if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

There is no one who can do better of their own strength and will. That is why they find themselves before God a sinner in the first place. What the Lord requires is that the people humble themselves to confess, not that they are strong, but that they are weak. More than that, they are to cry out to the Lord for His steadfast love and mercy. It is there, not in themselves but in the Lord, that they will find the strength that is required to walk in the commands of the Lord.