God’s Patience.

The_Story_of_Cain_and_Abel_(Bible_Card)

Who is God?

I was reading Genesis and it struck me how God deals with people who have disobeyed him. He always gives them a chance to talk with him about it. He doesn’t come rushing in angry and yelling; he gives them a chance to explain themselves and ask for his help. Here are some examples of how God treated people who disobeyed him.

Genesis 3:  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day; they hid from the Lord God among the trees. But the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?”  (of course God knew where they were.)

The man answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  And God said, “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.”  Then the Lord said to the woman, “What is this you have done?  The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Well, they ended up blaming each other and the serpent, and in that way they ultimately blamed God; but God still didn’t get angry. He told them the results of their sin and that he would send a Savior.

Genesis 4:  Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field Cain attacked his brother and killed him.

The Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel?”  Cain replied, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper?”  The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”  God then exiled Cain. He sent him away from the rest of the family.

1Kings 19:9   Elijah ran away from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. He was frightened for his life. Elijah usually went where God told him to go, but not this time.

“There Elijah went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the Lord came to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  Elijah explained how afraid he had been and how King Ahab was trying to kill him. God told Elijah to go back home. He would be safe.

Matthew 26:   Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them, “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”  Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi! and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, Friend.”

Jesus called Judas, Friend. He told Judas at their last supper that he knew he was going to betray him. He still washed his feet and then called him, Friend. He was hoping Judas would be sorry and confess his sin and ask for Jesus’ help.

God gave all these people a chance to explain themselves. I think this shows a lot about who God is. He isn’t some angry, scary guy looking to find something wrong with us. He loves us so much he will continue to reach out to us even when our hearts are hard as steel.

Who am I?

I’m like Elijah. I’m afraid of a lot of things and I’ve tried running away from my problems and sorrows, but God always chases me down. Sometimes he does seem to ask me, “Belle, why are you here?”  He is so good to me, and infinately patient.

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