Oh, How He Loves

I've recently been reading through a children's storybook style Bible at night with my youngest. We just finished up reading about the Judges God sent to Israel. If you're at all familiar, you know the verse, chorus, and refrain of every judge:


-Israel forgets God and disobeys. 

-God sends someone to tell them what they've done and to repent.

-Israel turns from their wickedness back to God.


Wash. Rinse. Repeat. 


Twelve times, God sends someone to get Israel back on the right track. Twelve times they repent, and 12 times they fall away. That sounds like me on a daily basis telling a child, "Hey, don't do that, you'll get hurt." In many ways, that's very much how it probably felt to their heavenly father. 

The part of these stories that sticks out to me the most is not the blatant disobedience. It's love. God did not give up on His people. He repeatedly, even through their foolishness, sent someone to draw them back to Him. Over and over and over. He loved them so much. Was He disappointed in their actions? Sure. Sin is abhorrent to God, so it was not something He was pleased with in any fashion. But that did not cease His love for His people. 


Think about when you have had to parent your children. Or even care for someone else's children. When you see them doing something that could bring harm to them, you stop them. They may immediately forget that, say, running out into the street is dangerous. Do you quit reminding them of that the next time it happens? Absolutely not! You continue to instill that principle each time until they understand. It's not because you are mean, though they may feel that way. It's because you love them deeply and don't want them to be harmed.


We go through these seasons of falling away, being "judged," and repentance, just as the Israelites did. Sometimes the judgement portion hurts. In fact, the term "judged" is very negative in our culture because we all believe we have the right to *not* be judged. However, we hopefully have friends who walk with the Lord that would happily come to us and tell us when we are wrong in order to draw us to repentance. 


In the end, no matter what we have messed up, or forgotten, or if we've run away, He still loves us. So much. And there's no lacking in the area of forgiveness, just come back home.

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