Three of my readings this morning harmonised so beautifully I wanted to share them with you to encourage you and build you up in faith that God is good.
10 The Eternal found Jacob out in the wilderness,
out in an empty, windswept desert wasteland.
He put His arms around him and took care of him;
He protected him as the apple of His eye.
11 Just as an eagle stirs up its nest, encouraging its young to fly,
and then hovers over them in case they need help,
And spreads its wings and catches them if they fall,
and carries them up high on its wings;
Too often we think of the books of the law being a heavy list of do not, do not, do not and we miss the sheer beauty and grace of God’s reaching down to a broken and sinful humanity. This describes His choosing of Jacob, His chosen people but also describes His relationship with us as we are grafted into that tree. He knew, He told Moses that He knew the Israelites were going to rebel and run after false gods, reject Him but still He made the covenant with them and perfectly fulfilled His half of the contract.
32 My little flock, don’t be afraid. God is your Father, and your Father’s great joy is to give you His kingdom.
33 That means you can sell your possessions and give generously to the poor. You can have a different kind of savings plan: one that never depreciates, one that never defaults, one that can’t be plundered by crooks or destroyed by natural calamities.
How amazing is that? It is God’s GREAT JOY to give us His kingdom. Read the second verse again and then read Deuteronomy. Do you see that they are saying the same thing? We don’t have a land to claim and clear of enemies physically but we have a land to clear of enemies spiritually. Greed, lust, hate, anger, selfishness, pride all of which lead to injustice and seeking things for ourselves and forgetting others. Jesus is saying step out of the nest, jump off the edge and see if God doesn’t uphold you. See if He is not hovering there to catch you, to lift you up to restore you.
37 They were not consistently faithful to Him,
and they were untrue to their covenant with Him.
38 Yet by His great compassion,
He forgave them
and decided not to put an end to them.
Most of the time, He held back His anger
and did not unleash His wrath against them.
39 He was mindful that they were human, frail and fleeting,
like a wind that touches one’s skin for a moment, then vanishes.
Psalm 78 is a catalogue of God’s dealings with Israel and maybe you are feeling a little smacked in the face after the heights of my previous comments – this is talking about God’s wrath after all. But it also talks about His grace, His mercy, His knowledge of us. And isn’t verse 37 true of us? I know it is true of me, I was telling God that this morning (as if He didn’t know!) I sing You can have it all. I pray Lord consume me. But I don’t remember that commitment that plea all day, all night, sometimes not even for the whole hour after I said the words.
But God KNOWS that. He knows I am like grass, that I flourish and fade but He is good and He loves me. The video here sums up how I think God works. He washes wave after wave of love over me gently (mostly gently) washing away layer after layer making me like Him. Making me brave and ready to live for Him. And then when I do live for Him and take even the smallest step He is there hovering like a mother over her chicks with the power of His Spirit to help.
What a GOD!!!! What a Father.