So often I hear that the God of the Old Testament was such a judging God. But if you truly read the OT, you will see instead a God of compassion, love, and patience. He is Father God and wants the best for His children. He provided the best for the Israelites, but they had to choose to go in and take it. Instead they chose the way of the nations around them. God knew that there was so much more – a relationship with Him! So, God punished the Israelites again and again, not in judgment, but in love that they might turn back to Him and know abundant life. The God of compassion judged Israel to bring them into right relationship with Him. Deuteronomy 4:29,31 says, “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul…For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forge the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.”
Finally, the God of compassion had to turn on the tough love and banish them from their land into Babylon, again, that they might seek Him and eternal life. Even through Jeremiah, the prophet of the time, God tells the Israelites that this will be only for a time. He has a better plan for them. He will be with them in the midst, He will restore them to their land, and He will send a Redeemer (Chapter 33). This does not sound like anger and judgment, but rather of concern and love. Our God is a God of compassion.
I met a man yesterday who was at the end of his rope. He was a Christian, but did not know the love of God, the forgiveness of Christ. He knew about them, but didn’t really understand the depth of them for Him. Our God is compassionate. He cares to the core of His being. Seek Him, go deeper, hang on to His promises; He will hear and listen and answer. He loves you.
I learned recently that when the word “Lord” is all capitals in the KJV or NAS that it is translated from the Word Adoni which is the name for God that relays relationship and Fatherhood. If your child goes astray, your heart cries for him/her to return to you. You might have to punish them to get them to listen, but your punishment is from love. God is a compassionate Father. It matters not what you have done, but rather what you will do. Will you choose Him today? Don’t just believe that He is Who He says He is, but that He will do what He says He will do in your life, and that He loves you: upfront and personal. You are His beloved child.
Hint for Today: Learn your spouse’s and childrens’ love languages. Read The 5 Love Languages. This book helped me to know how to better love and convey that love to my family daily, in discipline, and in joy. My husband’s love language is service. When I do something very small for him, he notices and feels loved. My love language is words of affirmation. When my husband does the dishes for me, it doesn’t speak love to me at all, but I learned that that was his way of expressing his love. I receive that from him and feel loved. I also tell him that I need the words of affirmation and he is learning to give those more generously! Some of my children need touch, some time, some gifts, some words, and some service. By knowing how they receive and give love, we can communicate even better. God also knows your love language and will communicate with you that way. Watch for Him. Search for Him with all your heart; He will answer!