As Patient As the Lord

 

 

          When God told Jonah to preach to the Ninevites he tried to flee

from God (Jonah 1:3). His reasoning; “…I knew that thou art a gracious

God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil

(4:2). Jonah apparently didn’t care at all for the city of Nineveh and knew

that God would allow them to repent before pronouncing judgment

on them. God’s mercy and patience was also manifested early on in

creation. There was a time when mankind was so corrupt that God “…saw

that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of

the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Yet our Father

did not immediately destroy man but set their time on earth at 120

years (6:3). Certainly that amount of time is sufficient for anyone to

realize their sin and repent. It is a sad testament of the times that only

eight people found grace in the sight of God and survived the great flood

that He brought upon the existing civilization (1 Peter 3:20).

 

          2 Peter 3:9 tells that that “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise,

as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any

should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Example after example in

the Bible proves what Peter tells us. The mere fact that we exist now shows

how “longsuffering” our Lord is. This Godly trait is not one that the apostle

Peter had early on. In fact, it seems that at one time Peter didn’t want to

exercise patient at all and therefore asked Jesus “Lord, how oft shall my brother

sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times” (Matt. 18:21)? Imagine the look

on Peter’s face when Jesus replied “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until

seventy times seven” (vs. 22). Nowadays people tend to want instant gratification,

consolation, pity, and even vengeance. God, however demands that we be as

our master and Lord (Matt. 10:25). Therefore when someone sins against you

don’t expect that repentance will come immediately. As the British might say

“wait for it”.

 

 

In Christ, Steve Preston

 

 

 

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