History of Redemption: Blog Post 16

Then the Lord said to Jeremiah in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did?  She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there.  I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’; but she did not return, and she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.  Their deeds will not allow them to return to their God.  For a spirit of harlotry is within them, and they do not know the Lord.  - Jeremiah 3:6-7; 9 (NASB), Hosea 4:12; 5:4 (NASB).

God is so patient.  As you read the above passages of scripture, God’s patience may not be be the first thing that occurs to you.  However, this is the 16th week that I have been writing blog posts on the history of redemption. Week after week, we read about a faithful God, who is pursuing a faithless people.  I confess that I am growing weary of the Israelites.  And yet, God is so very patient with them, and with us.

I am writing this post ten thousand feet above the face of the earth.  No I am not on a space shuttle, and no, I am not on drugs.  I am on an airplane flying to Ethiopia to bring home my beautiful adopted daughter.  It is from this kind of ten thousand foot view that we need to examine scripture.  And it is only after spending day after day, and week after week in His word, that we attain this view.  And when I look at the history of redemption through that lens, it is God’s patience that so clearly comes into focus.

My wife and I have been pursuing the adoption of this daughter for slightly over one year now.  During that time, there have been countless times when I have been frustrated, and downcast.  My wife can attest to my almost daily complaining about the adoption process, and about all the unnecessary red tape involved.  I am not a patient person.  The root of my impatience is a lack of faith in God’s sovereignty and a lack of faith in the perfection of His plan and His timing.  When I take time to meditate on my lack of patience, I remember my God, who waited not one year, but 27 years for me to accept Him as my adoptive Father.  I remember my God, who waited thousands of years for His chosen people to repent and to trust in Him.  He is truly abounding in patience.  And His patience shines brightest when we look at the thousands of years that He has endured the harlots and whores who have departed Him.

We should glorify God for His patience and remember it often.  For, “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make know his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory - even us whom he has called” (Romans 9:22-24).  Judgement will indeed come for those whose hearts are hardened to God, but for the sake of His “vessels of mercy”, He is patient.

Thank you God, for being so patient with me.  Please give me faith to be patient, trusting in Your perfect timing and in Your sovereign grace.

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).