God knew that eventually He would be the “kid” that neither team wanted. That one day, after His chosen people had settled in the promised land, they would line up all the gods along the fence and pick their favorite chunks of wood and most sought after graven images of stone to bow down to, leaving the God of their Fathers, the God of their deliverance, on the sidelines. That they would be “unmindful of the Rock that bore you,” and would “forgot the God who gave you birth” (Deut. 32:18). And in that day, said Moses, they would suffer the consequences of their rebellion just as the LORD had warned them through Moses.
And so, my reading in Deuteronomy this morning finished with a heavy sigh. How could they? With all they had been through . . . with all they had been given . . . with the power they had witnessed . . . how could they choose inanimate objects over the living God? How could they so desire what the nations around them had that they turned their backs on what the God of heaven offered them?
And it’s something that caught my eye (or the Spirit highlighted for me) in Romans 15 that kind of tied it off for me. While the generations after Moses would know a lot about what the God of their fathers had done, by in large, they wouldn’t really know who their God really was. But Paul knew.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
(Romans 15:5, 13, 33 ESV)
“The God of . . . ” Those are the words that popped off the page this morning.
Our God is the God of endurance and encouragement. He is the God of hope. He is the God of peace.
While our God is also the God of so much more, this is what the Spirit served up for me to chew on this morning. While the instruction and information from Romans 15 this morning was helpful, it’s noodling on these attributes of the Father this morning that seems to be most beneficial.
Our God empowers us to run the race. He quiets our soul to settle into the groove and steadfastly pursue the prize. All the while He waits at the finish line calling us to Himself, exhorting us to keep on keepin’ on though we may feel like we’ve “hit the wall.” A God of endurance and encouragement.
Through faith and the inner assurance brought by the testimony of the Spirit of God, we are propelled by hope. Not some pie-in-the-sky, I-wish-I-may-I-wish-I-might hope, but a sure hope founded on the historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. A solid hope sourced in the promises of Him who does not change and who cannot lie. A hope everlasting. A hope that will, even in the most barren times, fill us with all joy and peace in believing. Our God is the God of hope.
And He is the God of peace. A peace that passes understanding. A peace that flows like a river. A peace not like the world gives, but a peace that can calm the troubled heart and dispel the enemy of fear. In the world, Jesus said, we will have tribulation . . . stuff will happen. But He also said that we should take heart, that in Him we can have peace because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
He is the God of . . .
The God who has made Himself known, through His Word, in His Son, by His Spirit. And what a difference it makes.
By His grace. For His glory.