Monday, July 2, 2012

don't despise God

The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy.
2 Chronicles 36:15-16

Judah saw the end of God's longsuffering patience. After a long history of turning away from the covenant and loving idolatry, Judah was warned by God. He sent His word to them via His prophets. But the nation rejected their message and scoffed at the prophets themselves. The people rebelled against everything God did with a mocking rejection. God had no other recourse than in His wrath against sin to enact all the curses of the covenant.

What is amazing is just how long God was patient with His people. He spoke to them for generations, warning them of the consequences of their rejection and their idolatry. He pleaded with them through His prophets. But they did not care. They laughed at God and went on in their sinful choices.

God is slow to anger as is seen clearly in 2 Chronicles. But He is not a God Who looks the other way when we sin. He will discipline His people out of love and a desire to bring them to repentance. When Judah finally rejected God, He brought the nation to Babylon in chains. There, for seven decades they lived in captivity. Eventually in His mercy He brought them home with their thoughts fixed again upon Him and keeping covenant. Never again would idolatry mark the Jewish people. His discipline accomplished their renewal in ways God knew that it would.

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