Posted by: Administrator | June 23, 2015

The Israelites

The Israelites and Us by Cathy Robinson

 

I awoke this morning with the thought of a God who loved His people, the Israelites, so much, that every time they got themselves into a mess of their own making, they cried out to Him for forgiveness and pleaded for Him to rescue them. He did, over, and over, and over again, too many times to count.

 

Then the phrase, “I will be their God, and they will be my people,” came to mind, so I looked it up. I was touched at how emphatically God states this on several occasions. His tender desire to have “a people” all His own is evident in Scripture. The whole world literally belongs to Him as Creator God, and yet He yearns to have “a people” to whom He can be a Father, “a people” who will covenant with Him to love and follow Him. Yes, even “a people” who will call on Him for help when they fail to heed His instruction.

 

His loving heart is undeniable. He knows that His people will get themselves into messes of their own making, He knows they will be disobedient at times, and they will desperately need His help when they stray. And yet He still chose to covenant with the whole sorry lot of them. Yes, there, I said it. It’s so easy for me to think that of the Israelites. Every time I read of the miracles God performed on their behalf, I am astounded that they could continue to wander away from their amazing Father God. How could “they” be so stubborn and stiff-necked? “They” are so slow to learn, aren’t “they?”

 

Then just as I point the haughty finger of judgment in their direction, I am forced to look at my own hand, and I can’t help but notice that there are three more pointing right back at me. Yikes! I am suddenly and keenly aware of my own frailties and shortcomings. The conviction of God is upon me, and I am humbly shocked back into the reality of modern day. As much as I long to be perfect in my walk with Him, I, too, have wandered away from my amazing Father God. I, too, am stubborn and stiff-necked at times. I, too, am often slow to learn. Ouch! The truth hurts.

 

But there is more to this story, Thank God! He not only loved the Israelites, and came to their rescue over and over and over again, God does the same for His people today. The truth is that even when I am unfaithful, He is faithful. Even when I have failed Him, He has never failed me. I am reminded of Paul’s words in II Corinthians 6: 16-18 NIV “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

 

What a marvelous thought in which to revel! God chose to be my Father, He chose to make an everlasting covenant with me that He alone would be faithful to, and He still rescues me when I need Him…every time I need Him…over and over and over again, too many times to count. His patience and long-suffering are astonishing. What a “model” parent God is! Oh, that we would learn to follow Him more closely, to refrain from straying, to heed His instruction, “that it may go well with you,” (God’s word from Jeremiah 7:23). His boundaries are for our own good, and although consequences do naturally follow when we fail to walk in obedience, my God is a rescuer! He is a faithful redeemer! He loves His people, and He will do for each of us today, just as He did for “His people” the Israelites during Old Testament times.

 

So right now, if you think you are too far gone for God to reach and restore you, if you believe that God’s patience with you has run out, if you imagine that God would no longer care to deliver you from a mess of your own making, I am here to tell you that is a lie from the enemy, and I would urge you to give God more credit than that! Just as His “people of old” did, I promise you, you can cry out to your Father for forgiveness, and plead with Him to rescue you, and He will, over and over and over again, too many times to count. Today, I pray you will let Him pick you up out of the ash pile of life, and allow Him to bring beauty from those ashes. You can trust that when we give God an opportunity to show off, He definitely takes it and runs with it. Read Isaiah chapter 61, if you don’t believe me.

 

I don’t know about you, but I know I am SO grateful for God’s faithfulness to His people today. Say, Amen if you feel the same. <><


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