I have the privilege of overseeing all the women’s devotions that are posted on my church’s website. While they’re all wonderful and insightful, there was one in particular that caught my attention recently. It was written by my friend Melissa and I believe it resonated with me so much because I constantly have the exact same thoughts she describes in her devotional.
When I study the Old Testament, I think about how incredibly forgetful the Israelites were and it baffles me, absolutely baffles me. After all, they had seen God complete some pretty astounding miracles…so how in the world could they turn their backs or choose to worship idols instead?! Then I’m quickly reminded how I am so much like them. Anyway, Melissa says it beautifully in her devotional, so I wanted to share it. Enjoy!
Nehemiah 9:17- They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.
Often when I read about the Israelites in the Old Testament I get so exasperated with their back and forth, on again/off again faith in God. He chose them to be a mighty people. He delivered them from bondage in Egypt. He led them to the Promised Land and delivered it to them. I just can’t understand how they continuously turned their backs on God. I don’t understand how the generations lost the wonder and majesty of the parting of the Red Sea, the manna that appeared daily, or the walls of Jericho falling down. I marvel at God’s patience with the Israelites and how often He forgave them knowing they were just going to turn away again.
Then God holds a mirror up to my heart and I’m ashamed. I am just like them. I refuse to obey. I can become oblivious to the blessings and wonders God works daily in my life. I am proud and want to do things in my time and in my own strength. However, just like He did with the Israelites, God forgives me. He welcomes me with open arms back into fellowship with Him. And He does this over and over again, knowing I will repeat this cycle. I can look back and see times where Jesus and I have walked hand in hand. I knew I was in His will and doing what He wanted me to do. I can also look back and see the times that I’ve wandered away-just drifted slowly in the other direction. Satan is so very sneaky that way.
I am so very thankful that God never gives up on me. He is merciful and patient, ready to forgive. Praise God that His mercies are new every morning.