The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:9-12 (NIV).
We’ve all heard the canard: how could a good God let such bad things happen. Has any one of us ever really considered that it isn’t God who lets those things happen, but us? God tells us He will bring punishment on us if we are unrepentant, that He will remove His protecting hand. Why are we surprised when it does?
But did you catch the catch? God offers to forgo that punishment if we repent. He gives us another chance; in fact, He gives us one more last chance yet again. And, yet again, we repent, then sin, then sin again and again. The nasty thing about all of our sins is that they dull us to their nature. Sin a particular sin enough and you become inured to what it’s really doing. Keep lying and eventually you won’t be able to tell the truth from the lies. Keep cheating enough and eventually it won’t bother you to do it constantly. It’s like our small sins are gateway drugs to bigger ones.
When our sensitivity to sins becomes dulled, is it any wonder that calamity would follow? What seems like God’s wrath may only be Him simply removing His favor from our situation. Mind you, He still provides; we still get food, air, water, the like. He doesn’t have to provide those; we don’t have any right to them. Yet, He can remove His protection from even worse things happening to us because of our theft, our adultery, our sins. Sure, God’s wrath is a real and terrible thing; I don’t want to find out just how terrible it could be.
But, more than not, I wonder if the terrible things that happen to us aren’t simply consequences we’ve incurred by our misbehavior when God lets up on His protection. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could avoid all that?
How? Accept Jesus. Confession, turning away from our sinful patterns, letting God remake and remold us, walking the walk and talking the talk, not to please God but because it’s what He asks of us. Put our faith only in Jesus and accept His forgiveness for yet one more last chance.
For further reading: Exodus 34:7, 2 Samuel 24:14, 2 Kings 7:13-15, 2 Kings 22:16, Nehemiah 9:17, Jeremiah 2:29, Jeremiah 42:12, Revelation 10:7, Daniel 9:13
Lord, I’m sorry for my sins. Please forgive me because of Your Son.
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