An overdue post on a reflection I had during the season of Lent-a time we gathered as a church to fast, pray and dwell in His Word for forty days leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I was once again, overwhelmed by the width and depth of God’s Love for us as I shift my gaze unto Him-I stand in awe.
We are comforted when God is mercy, grace, kind, compassionate, and He is most importantly, forgiving. We feel like we can conquer the world when God is our all-powerful, Almighty King of kings. We feel great and able to boast about our belief when God is peace and all about His agape Love. We call God our Father, Comforter, and even Almighty King. A King of kings who called us His own and that makes us children of the most royal of the royal family!
It is easier for us to proclaim God’s love when we are blessed, when things turn out well. We often talk about God’s love when He used the weak He has chosen-from Abraham, Issac and Jacob, to Moses, David, and more, but never seem to put much weight on how God pursued for His righteousness. In fact, we often shy away where discipline is applied. We forget that the God who brought the Israelites out of their slavery is the same God who did not keep David’s child with Bathsheba alive and in the midst of all the glorious moments Moses was experiencing as God’s appointed leader of the Israelites, God sought to put him to death.
In 2 Samuel 12:13-14, David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” God’s remarkable forgiveness for David’s quick repentance does not mean the removal of all negative consequences. David’s sin with Bathsheba functions as a critical pivot in the story of his life and in the redemptive history of the Old Testament. Despite David’s fall and the consequences he had to bear, God fulfilled His promise to David that his house and his kingdom will endure forever before God; his throne will be established forever (2 Samuel 7).
Again, in Exodus 4:24-26, at a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. If we take it seriously, it is about life and death. The covenant requires circumcision (Gen 17:9-14). Failure to be circumcised may lead to being “cut off”, as stated as some form of severe punishment from God reference to Exodus 12-15.
There is also this part of a verse from book of Ezra that we like to use as a word of encouragement, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him”. However, if we pay enough attention to the text, we should know better not to take His grace for granted because the next part of the verse goes, “and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” (Ezra 8:22) Nonetheless, I am not trying to infuse our belief with fear-the unified testimony of the book is that the “Lord God of heaven” is indeed “the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments” (Neh 1:5; cf. 9:32; Deut 7:9, 21).
Our Heavenly Father pursues us for righteousness because He is righteous. He loves us enough to perfect us in His perfect timing. His unceasing love for us is relentless so long as we keep our eyes on the prize-He and Himself, the One and only. He is a jealous God, our jealous God. He honors those who honor Him, whether barren woman, shepherd boy, or king, but He thwarts the purposes of all who stand against Him, whether priest, king or warrior (1 Sam 2:9, 30; 2 Sam 22:28).
God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and accepts us as we are. But by His grace, He does not leave us as we are.~Timothy Keller
He loves and this is how He loves.
(Featured image, courtesy of https://tinyurl.com/Mortalsnaps : Tanjung Balau Beach, Johor Bahru, Malaysia; March 2019)
His beautiful & relentless love makes a soul relentlessly beautiful.