God is a loving and patient Parent. We need not fear Him–respect Him? Absolutely, but He wants the best for us. Choose Him.
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Matthew 23:37
We have been looking at four questions I wrote at the end of chapter two of, “A Grand Illusion,” by David Young about what radical progressives believe–or don’t believe.
Why do we need to recognize Jesus as Lord?
Why do we need a Savior?
How can the Bible be “living and breathing?”
What is holiness?
We are on the fourth question,
What is holiness?
Holiness is the character of God. Whatever God is like, that is holiness. Let’s look at some verses that tell us about the character of God.
We continue reviewing the Scriptures that list characteristics of God. Yesterday, we began with Exodus 34:6-7 and Psalm 86:4-7. Today, we start with Psalm 103:8-13.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
As David described the attributes of God, we can see that he had an ongoing and personal relationship with Him, one that gave David great insight to the character of God. Notice the absence of punishment down to the third and fourth generations. David knew the grace of God (Psalm 51), His love that is everlasting (Psalm 103:17), His mercy that is very great (1 Chronicles 21:13), and His lovingkindness (listed 22 times in Psalms, KJV). Psalm 145:8 is yet another listing by David of those attributes.
The next listing of God’s character is Joel 2:13-14, which takes place around 250 years later,
13 Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
14 Who knows? He may turn and relent
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the Lord your God.
We see that the attitude toward God is beginning to change from God being stern to One who allows people to reap the consequences of their own bad decisions. Joel’s call to rend their hearts and not their garments places God’s priority on their attitude and holiness (being like Him) rather than their lip service and rituals.
We will stop here for today and meditate on the goodness of God, how He loves us dearly, but allows us to experience the consequences of our bad decisions while calling us back to His side.
Abba, this process of choosing my own way and then coming back to You is a lifelong process. Through my life, I have learned to return more and more quickly to Your side. Being with You is the safest and most pleasant place for me to be even when life is hard–especially when life is hard! Thank You for loving me. I want to be just like You. Amen.