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I’ve been reading Judges, and I’m appalled by all the senseless evil and wickedness that comes out of man’s heart.  And I realize that I can read the same thing in any history book from any time period from any region in the world, and I can read the same thing on the front page of any newspaper this morning, and God’s patience with us overwhelms me.  That he would continue with us this long, that he would not have destroyed us all should cause us to at once bow down in utter shame and yet worship Him with hearts exploding with love and gratitude.

I have not murdered, have not agitated a nation to civil war, have not killed my own child in the name of God, but I have rebelled, turned to idols, to filth just as those whose lives are recorded in Judges.  I think on how easily I am insnared by sin, like a mindless puppy running out into the street after a bouncing ball!  And before I know it, I’m struck down by iniquity and lying on the pavement; I have again spoken evil, I’ve hated in my heart, I’ve exchanged the glory of God for his creation, and so it goes.

And then, even in light of all of that, I still have an audience with my God!  I can still come to Him, repent, worship, petition, sit quietly in his presence.  And He heals my wounds.  He continues to display His inexhaustible grace, mercy, love, and long-suffering.  And it occurs to me just how worthy Jesus is.  Just how pure, how valuable Christ is.  His death purchased all of this for me!  That I can have this realization and still turn aside, that my attention can be captured by such lower things, demonstrates that I am indeed seeing as through a mirror dimly.  I long for the day when I will see Him as He is.

As for now, I will keep stumbling in his footsteps, awkwardly following the Christ in the midst of this place where everyone does what is right in his own eyes.  But as in Judges, along with the evil comes beauty, one little redemption story after another, and God’s grace is magnified.  And all glory goes to Him.  And really, isn’t that the point of it all?

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