Friday, September 2, 2011

The Lord is Patient, But...

I finished reading through 2 Chronicles this morning during my devotions and look forward to beginning the book of Ezra tomorrow. However, there is one final lesson from the lives of the kings that literally jumped out at me today. It is found in the Chronicler saying,...

"But Yahweh, the God of their ancestors sent word against them by the hand of His messengers, sending them time and time again, for He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they kept ridiculing God's messengers, despising His words, and scoffing at His prophets, until the Lord's wrath was so stirred up against His people that there was no remedy..." (2 Chronicles 36:15-16)

God made Himself known to the Israelites as the, "...compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin.." (Exodus 34:6-7). He also made it known that if Israel rejected Him, He would ultimately reject them.

Over and over, God's goodness and His patience is manifested to His people. Over and over they scorn His advances, His love and His provisions for them. And ultimately, they pay the price until God's "wrath was so stirred up against His people that there was no remedy." What a sobering statement.

I am one who celebrates and strives to live the grace of God. However, I wonder if I often, like Israel, tread on God's grace in a way that grieves Him? I wonder if I, like Israel, am testing His goodness to the point of stirring up His wrath? I don't mean to. I think I'm a pretty good person (at least by the world's standard). But, like Israel, do I have have my own idols, my own distractions that easily take my eyes off the Lover of my soul and cause me to try His patience with me?

I pray today that I will be single-eyed in my devotion and service to God. I pray that He will once again wash over me with His goodness and grace and I will be content and satisfied with Him and nothing else.


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