Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mercy and forgiveness...We are like Them.

        Hi everyone I know I have not posted in a little while besides the freebie post. Well I've been reading a lot. Not just the books I am reviewing {although there are quite a few of those I have and a few that I am expecting in the mail as well} BUT also reading my bible as well. 

         Lately I notice that I can get the most out of my reading when its done at night after dinner, after the kids are in bed and my home is quiet. That is when I can unplug from everything and just plug into God. Sunday evening I read the entire book of Joshua. I learned a lot about people how to deal with them. I also learned a lot about myself. 

       One thing I learned from the book of Joshua is that with people you cannot force them to do a thing. You can encourage them. You can remind them of the consequences of their actions. However the best thing you can do is lead by example. Joshua did this when he told the people of Israel that they would need to choose who they would serve, God or idols. However Joshua made it clear that he and his household would be serving the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

       That's how we have to be with people.  I have had this bad, where I see someone I genuinely care about acting a fool while putting on the front that they are serving God, and I want to help them see God and then see themselves. However I realize that no matter how many times I try to lead them to God, or try to help them, it does not matter if they don't want it for themselves. I can want salvation for them but they don't want salvation, they don't want to repent and live for God, then honestly? They won't. And there's nothing I can do about it. 

         So now I have to keep people like that at arm's length, love them but from a distance. I don't want to get caught up in that. And trust me, you can get caught up in another's choices if hang out with them too much. This is the same warning God gave Israel about the pagan nations. Israel was not to live among them but were to drive them out. Israel did not do this and guess what? Those pagan nations with their evil idolatry became a snare to the people of Israel.

       Last night I read Judges. Judges kind of remind me of tug of war. One minute the people of Israel would tug on idolatry and do evil in the sight of God. Then they'd end up in slavery after hard times. Afterwards they'd tug on God asking Him to rescue them from their shackles. They'd be obedient to God only while the chosen judge lived. After the judge died, they'd fall right back to idol worship. And guess what? Yep. They'd end right back in misery overtaken by their enemies. And what happens next? Yep. They'd go running right back to God, crying out for help, to be saved.

       I'm not going to lie. In reading Judges, the people of Israel kind of irritated me. They were an ungrateful lot. They were not true and faithful to God but would use Him when they needed Him and forget Him afterwards. Honestly I was upset, because in my mind I'm thinking how could you keep falling back into idolatry after it was the reason you were miserable in the first place? {Now here's the funny thing. Aren't we the same way? When things are going good we do what we want with no regard for God, but as soon as things go awry we go crying back to God for help. Do we not know that if we had continued doing things God's way we wouldn't need to run back to Him because we'd already be walking with Him?} Were they not thinking or did they just not care? Either way, God kept forgiving them and kept saving them.

     I saw for myself the magnitude of God's mercy and forgiveness. And I'm sure that quite a few of us (myself included) have been like Israel. Yet just like God forgave them, He forgives us too.

Love to you all
Kris Bush

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