“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:4-7
As we read through the Old Testament the message we can understand is we serve a just God. How do we know this? The Bible gives many examples.
Abraham and his descendants struggled with obedience. I read with sorrow of heart how the Israelites repeatedly turned from the Lord God Jehovah. They witnessed His deliverance of them from Egypt and His constant provision, even to the desires of their heart. They witnessed His continual presence through the cloud that led them by day and the pillar of fire that led them by night. They heard His voice as He gave them His Commandments. They were ruled by Him, but they sought a king.
When I read of the prodigal son in the New Testament, the picture that comes to my mind is that of the Israelites. They had God’s best and yet, they were controlled by the lusts of their flesh. When they were reproved, they turned back to Him, but soon they would return to their sinful ways. Heartbreaking. How God must sorrow for His people. Yet, He keeps His promises. When He promised Abraham that his seed would become a great nation, we know that this is true. In our modern day times, we know that there is hope for all who turn to God, just as God preserved a remnant of His people.
The account of Hosea who was told by God to marry a prostitute is a picture of God’s love. Hosea was a prophet and God used him to demonstrate the adultery of His people. When we turn away from Him, we are leaving our bridegroom and committing spiritual fornication when we sin. We read that Hosea was faithful despite the unfaithfulness of his wife. So is our Lord. He is constant.
We are not any different than the Israelites of old. We too turn our back on our loving God to seek our ways. When our hearts realize our sin, and we purpose to turn away from it and seek our Lord, then we will be welcomed and restored. He forgives us when we are repentant. For He has provided a lamb, Jesus, who has taken the punishment we all so richly deserve. How we should long to always be obedient and faithful.
“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18
Does He tolerate sin? Never. He corrects us so we will turn back to Him. How often we miss that He wants a relationship with us based on love and submission. He demands that we forsake our sin. He wants our total allegiance, nothing less. We are locked in a spiritual battle between what we know is right and what our flesh desires. When we are overtaken, our Lord intercedes to bring us back to Himself.
“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25
Years ago, I came to a major turning point in my life when I discovered that our Lord is personally interested in each of His children. Understanding came as I watched the movie, The Hiding Place. It is the account of Corrie ten Boom and her family during WWII, as they struggled to protect and hide Jews who were trying to escape the Nazis. Through this true account, I realized that as a believer I can have a personal relationship with Him. My relationship is interactive. When I pray, He answers. When I read His Word, He brings understanding and insight. I am amazed by the many ways He has impacted my life. I have learned that I need His help in overcoming my sin. Yet I am helpless to do it without Him, and in fact, I wouldn’t even want to overcome my sin if it weren’t for His prompting through the Holy Spirit.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7
He cares for me, and He cares for you.
Copyright 2007 by Linda Hull