God is a Compassionate God

Ever find yourself waffling back and forth, desiring and even committing to do something, then letting other things crowd it out?  Or choosing one thing, only to default to another?

When I look over my life I realize there have been times when I’ve lived very close to God, and other times when those desires seem to be smothered with “life.”  It’s the same for other decisions – and resolutions.  Twice in my life I’ve deleted chocolate from my diet for quite a long time (!), but then waffled back.  Does this sound familiar to you and your life?

Waffling seems to be the human condition.

This year I’ve decided to read Deuteronomy through in Hebrew (very, very slowly!).  And I’ve come to something that made me appreciate God’s mercy even more.

Deut 4 begins with Moses teaching and admonishing Israel to obey God.  He reminds them of previous experiences, including the most awesome one of being in God’s presence at Horeb (Mt Sinai) where God revealed to them the kind of people He wanted them to be, and how He desired them to worship Him.  Especially were they admonished to refrain from making physical idols to take the place of God.

Then verse 25 says (translations are mine):

“When you have children and grandchildren (literally, “sons and sons of sons”), and have settled down in the land,* then you will act corruptly,* in that you will make an idol, the likeness of anything, then you will do evil in the eyes of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger.”

The “anything” is a one-word reference to those things mentioned in verses 16-19.

Moses then proclaims the covenant curses on them – they will perish from the land.  They will be scattered.  They will be few.

Whew! Quite a stiff curse!

Hand Reaching to HeavenBut   . . .

“Then you will seek the Lord your God from there, and you will find Him when you intently search for Him* (different word) with all your heart and with all your soul.”  (Verse 29)

Verse 31 is the clincher:

“For the Lord your God is a compassionate God.  He will not let go of you nor will He forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them.”

Even after Israel does the unthinkable and commits adultery against God by worshiping something other than Him, He still holds on to them!  What an awesome and merciful God!

All through Israel’s history we see verse 25 played out.  The whole book of Judges is a waffling back and forth between God and the idols of nations around Israel.  Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra & Nehemiah — all tell stories of Israel’s back-and-forth relationship with God.

But it also tells how God never leaves them nor forsakes them.  Every time they earnestly turn back to Him, He picks them up, dusts them off, and sets them on the journey again.

Does that give you hope?  Even if you waffle back and forth, even if you choose one thing and fall into doing another, God still holds onto you.  He still remembers the covenant He has made with you and that you have made with Him.

This doesn’t mean He’s content to leave you there in the state of waffling.  He wants you to come into such a connection with Him that you are no longer waffling back and forth.  He desires your spiritual maturity.  But until you reach that summit, His mercy is still plentiful.  Praise Him!

Please share  . . . how has God picked you up again and again?

*HALOT, Koehler & Baumgartner (Hebrew lexicon)

 

About Pastor Sherry

Hi, I'm Pastor Sherry! I'm a Ministry and Spiritual Life Coach, and am committed to helping you Reach For The Summit of your relationship with God. This includes developing or transforming your personal devotional life as well as breaking through barriers such as Unloving, Fear, Bitterness, that are preventing you from the kind of connection with God that you seek. I'd love to connect with you on Facebook (Pastor Sherry, Reach For The Summit), LinkedIn (Pastor Sherry), and Twitter (PastorSherry1). To receive my monthly newsletter, please sign in to the opt-in box at the top of this page!
This entry was posted in Being God's Person, Deuteronomy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to God is a Compassionate God

  1. Hi Pastor Sherry,

    yes He is a compassionate God indeed slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness. I believe that Abba specifically chose Israel to be a light to not only show His holiness and glory but also to show His mercy and faithfulness, YAH is sooooooo forgiving and merciful He never breaks His covenant and promises with His people. Even today He jealously watches over Israel (people and land) that’s a God that we can all trust and hope in I think!

    I don’t have my thinking hat on right now to answer your question, but suffice to say whenever I’ve thought myself to dirty, ugly and sinful and I felt so full of self-loathing YAH was always there and is always here for me. I think this is the biggest pick up that I could ever have, that He loves me when I don’t love myself and He sees value in me when I loathe myself the most. YAH is sooooooo precious to me.

    • God has always wanted a whole people to be a witness to the world of Him, and lead people back to Him. And that includes showing the world His unchangeable and unceasing hesed.

      God’s love goes on even when we don’t love ourselves — a beautiful thought! He sees us through the covering of Jesus, so to speak. God is so good!

  2. Helen Murray says:

    So often He waits for me as I wander off. I sit at His feet and announce that it’s the only place that I want to be and then as soon as something catches my eye I’m off. Wandering, thinking that I’m the captain of my own ship…. Until storms come or I need something and I marvel at how far away I am. I amaze myself with my fickleness and how easily it creeps up on me.
    Thank you for this, Sherry. I love that you’re reading it in Hebrew; I’ve often thought that there must be special treasure to be found reading the Bible in one of the original languages. Hope you’ll share more.
    Helen Murray recently posted..The prayer of a righteous man

    • Helen, I love the way you capture things in words. As I read your comment I felt like it described me perfectly, the way I flip back and forth at times. Thank God for His patience.

      Yes, I love being able to read in Hebrew (albeit very slowly and with lexicon close by). I keep saying I need to get back to Greek, but I’m having so much fun in the Hebrew! And yes, reading the Hebrew gives one a glimpse of how an ancient Israelite thought, as well as insights that pop out that one wouldn’t get in the English.

      Hmmm, wonder if people would be interested in an online Hebrew course . . .?

  3. Amy Hagerup says:

    Yes, He does pick me up again and again. I’ve been reading in Joshua lately and I just finished Leviticus. So I too have been thinking of the children of Israel – and how they had to be picked up again and again. Currently, I would say that He picks me up from my workaholic tendency to remind me to be still and quiet and peaceful thru each day. Seems I have to be reminded of this a lot. Blessings, Amy

    • I’m with you, Amy — I love to just “be,” but I’m really a “do-er,” and it’s hard to get out of the “get things done” mode. I’m glad God has lots of patience, because He sure needs it with me. Leviticus is pretty heavy stuff, but the sanctuary is awesome! I like to think of it as God’s sandbox model for how He planned to save His people.

  4. Mel Thompson says:

    I loved the slant you put of the verses you included regarding COMPASSION. It’s a word I need to focus on in this corrupt world we live in.

    I also enjoyed your use of the word adjective, “waffling”. One definition I found in the Urban Dictionary was…”To utilize extraordinary means to gain something of value by defeating a poorly designed system run by a badly managed entity.”

    • Hi Mel, I think my definition is slightly different than the urban dictionary’s is! And yes, God’s compassion is something we can all think more on. His hesed is abundant and never-ending!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


CommentLuv badge