Rebellion and Forgiveness
A rebellious people and a merciful God
Israel’s story is a cycle of consecration and desecration. They’ve been given the instructions from God for how to live in the books of the law. They turn their hearts to God…only to immediately rebel against God over and over and over again. Their hearts are constantly being captivated by idols.
This is a people scarred by their rebellious acts, who have broken the covenant and hardened their hearts against God, yet somehow, each time they turn their hearts back to God, he is always ready to extend mercy and forgiveness.1
I know the God of the Old Testament can be a touchy subject, especially when we read violent passages about God’s wrath. It seems dramatically different from the God we read about in the New Testament. In our limited understanding, we can’t fully grasp why God would respond in such a way, but I do think it gives us a glimpse into just how holy God really is.
God of Mercy
The way I see it, there could have been a lot more wrath in the Old Testament if God hadn’t been so patient. I don’t want to ignore the difficult passages that we must grapple with, but I am constantly in awe of the patience God has, despite the grumbling, faithless and wicked inclinations of his people. I see a God who never stops reaching out to guide his people back to him and never stops offering his mercy and forgiveness.
When you consider how holy God is, and the fact that he came to dwell among his people and continued to guide them and be with them despite their inability to stay faithful in return; well, to me that sounds like a pretty incredible God.
Preparing our Hearts
How has God shown his mercy to us, despite our hard hearted desires to follow after idols? As our awareness of our brokenness increases, our desire for the Holy Spirit can also increase as we reflect on how he may be calling us back to him.