As we traveled through the country of Israel and toured the various sights, what gave me great peace and comfort was knowing that God always remains true to himself. This reality was another one of those unspoken insights that just naturally surfaced as we traveled from place to place.
Although maybe not so different than in America today, what really struck me was the creativity mankind has used to build its own kingdom over the centuries. The beauty and enormity of the cities and structures that he built were mind boggling when thinking they didn’t have the modern construction equipment of our day. So much of what we saw was impacted by King Herod and his family. The fortified cities and temples were amazing.
The damage caused by one government overthrowing another was staggering. To stand in a holding cell where our Messiah likely was imprisoned left me speechless. I found myself grieved to learn that much of the “Promised Land” is mostly occupied by Muslims and that only three percent of the population of Jerusalem is Christian. Sin really is so much about trying to live independently of God.
When I think about an all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present God, it still amazes me that he would choose to set aside a people to love and to bless despite our constant rebellion. I think we would all agree that if we were God, and the people we created and loved constantly rejected and rebelled against us, that we would’ve given up on them long ago.
I think about the many times I have said under my breath, “This is it, this is the last time; if they don’t treat me with respect this time I am done with them.” And yet how many times haven’t I rejected God with my actions and rebellious words? How many times haven’t we given our kids a gift and they blow it or recklessly abuse it; and yet how often don’t we waste or abuse the gifts God gives us?
The patience and perseverance of God is amazing. Just think about the grief and pain he could’ve avoided if he would’ve destroyed everyone in the flood. And why didn’t he; it’s because God is always true to himself. I love the following scripture passages: From Isaiah 48:9-11, “9 Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name, I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out. 10 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering–11 I will rescue you for my sake—yes, for my own sake! I will not let my reputation be tarnished, and I will not share my glory with idols.
And from Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other: I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do what I please.”
God would have had all the reason in the world to give up on you and me. He would have every reason to give up on this ever increasingly wicked world, and yet because of his amazing grace, he continually remains true to himself in carrying out his great plan of redemption to save you and me.
Father, I am so grateful that you have been faithful to your promise that you will complete the good work you began in your chosen people as we excitedly look forward to the day when you will make all things new. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Gratefully yours, Mike