Getting To Know – Part 2

Getting To Know – Part 2

Aug 17

(click here to read Part 1)
When someone makes a grand claim about themselves, we usually watch to see if they can back it up.

Even if that someone is God.

Walking the talk

As I continued to read the Old Testament, I saw that everything God said about Himself in Exodus 34 – proved to be true. All the love He displayed for Israel, guiding them, taking care of them.  And the PATIENCE! All the warnings He gave them, all the chances He gave them to recognize and turn from their wrongs (let’s just say they’d be thankful I’m not God.).

Countless times Israel messed up, and countless times God forgave them.

“God is Love” was starting to make more sense.

But here’s the real kicker – the part that floored me completely.

 

Badder than bad

There are a couple of books in the Bible that chronicle the lives of the various kings of Israel – and it’s appropriately named “Chronicles”. The first 20 verses of 2 Chronicles 33 gives a brief account of King Manasseh, and it’s a doozy (do people still say “doozy”?)

It goes something like this.

Manasseh was a young king, given the kingdom when he was only twelve. His Dad was a good guy who loved and served God, but Manasseh – not so much. This kid grew up and did things more evil and more detestable than the most evil and detestable people that lived. This Rebel-King essentially set out to break every command imaginable. He built shrines and altars to other Gods. Worshipped the sun and the stars. Manasseh does the unthinkable and SACRIFICED HIS CHILDREN TO DEMONS.

FINALLY, God moves to take him out of power. The Assyrian armies come in and capture Manasseh. They put a ring through his nose, chain him up like an animal, and haul him away to Babylon.

But the story doesn’t end there.

In this process, Manasseh recognizes the depth of his evilness and falls on his face in repentance to God.

And God forgave him.

God. Forgave. Him.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Not only did He forgive him, but He restored Manasseh to power.

…..

Whoa.

THAT floored me.

THAT is gooder than good.

THAT is my God.

###
Is this the God you’ve gotten to know?

I’ve heard people express that they feel “Too far gone” for God to love them, or forgive them. Fellow believers wrestling, unable to fully accept the grace He offers. (I’ve been there – and the trips back are becoming less frequent.)

Some of this sparks more questions that I hope to explore, but this is my baseline.

A God who abounds with compassion and mercy, offers unfailing love and faithfulness, is patient, slow to get angry, quick to forgive, and is completely just.

 

Photo Credit: Christa Richert

2 comments

  1. Tyler Freeman

    If I had a nickel for every time I thought I was “too far gone”… :)

    I’ve gotten to know this God more and more in the past few months. You read all the magnificent stories in the Bible – the wondrous feats he performed and his unwavering compassion for everyone – yet when you think of the sins you’ve committed you wonder if God has really forgiven you.

    Why would he? What have you done for him that is so special? You skipped church. You haven’t been praying. You didn’t read your Bible. You’ve felt further away from him recently. Why do you deserve forgiveness?

    Those were the questions I frequently asked myself.

    Then one day it smacked me in the face…

    All God asks for is that you repent and believe in His greatness. There’s no special feat or combination of steps you have to complete to “earn” God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness has already been given.

    You only have to open your heart and embrace Him for who He is. Your Lord and Savior. Your Grand Protector. Your God.

    Another magnificent post, Josh! Looking forward to reading more!

    • Josh

      Thanks, Tyler!

      So, true! It’s easy to slip into believing that I need to DO something to earn the love and forgiveness He offers (and I personally understand the draw to that mindset). I’ve found another shift occurs when we realize that the actions that we beat ourselves up for (not praying, not reading the Bible, etc.) aren’t things that bring His love and forgiveness, but happen naturally when we embrace who He is!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

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