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The Patient Waiting of God



When I was a child, I distinctly remember having the cliché conversation “this hurts me more than it hurts you” with my parents.  Then immediately after the punishment was delivered out, I remember thinking “neh, I’m pretty sure that hurt me more…” 


Fast forward to today, I am starting to better comprehend the meaning behind that common conversation most caring parents have with their children.  No loving parent would ever gain enjoyment from disciplining their child, no matter the means of the punishment.  Actually, it is quite the opposite.  Disciplining a child, especially the form of “the rod”, would be extremely unpleasant for most parents.  So why would any parent discipline their child?  The Bible states that “whoever spares the rod hates the son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” (Proverbs 13:24)  Disciplining a child is not a mindless activity, rather it is an action with purpose instilling a sense of right and wrong, pointing the child towards God.  Christians are taught in the New Testament to “bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)  The end game of the disciplining and teaching, no matter how painful for the parents, is so that the child will one day choose to walk with the Lord once free from Mom and Dad’s authority.  Parents will go through this almost tortuous action of disciplining their flesh and blood because of their intense desire for the child to love God. 


Our God in Heaven feels this same intense desire for all on earth to turn towards the narrow path and follow after Him.  Ezekiel 33:10-11 says “and you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, thus have you said: ‘surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them.  How then can we live?’  Say to them, as I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?”  In this passage, you can feel the urgency of the pleas from God our father.  It’s almost as if God can’t understand why his children won’t turn to Him and live verses follow after lawlessness and die.  The Israelites were breaking God’s heart. 


Our God’s heart still breaks today when he sees individuals that Jesus Christ died for ignore the love that was shown by living selfish and lost lives.  Second Peter chapter three gives us some insight into God’s heart and his love towards lost souls in the year of 2014.  Peter made a counterpoint against those that would question the second coming of Christ when he wrote “but do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 


What can you and I do to help with God’s wishes?  We can and must be the WATCHMEN.  Though Christians do not have the “when”, we do know the “what” when it comes to the judgment day.  Going back to Ezekiel 33, the Bible states that as the individuals that know what is going to happen to the world, it is crucial that we warn those who are lost.  Verses 7-9 state “so you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel.  Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.  If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” 


As a parent strongly desires for what is best for the child, our God is constantly yearning for lost souls to turn toward Him.  The judgment day is coming, and when it is here, it will be an extraordinary day for some.  And while God wants none to perish because of his nature and his inability to be associated with sin, it will be the beginning of torment for others.  We have the ability and obligation to help lead lost souls to Christ.  Let us all do what we are able while we still have time.