This devotion is taking pieces and parts from my morning’s Scripture reading today (Wednesday) and our current Bible study on Gideon.
Our study on Gideon this week focused on long-suffering nature of God, His patience with each and every one of us.
My Scripture reading this morning was in the book of Romans, specifically chapter 10. While this chapter gives the blueprint for salvation (verses 9-13), it also points to the patient nature of God in the latter part of the chapter.
I read the story of the prodigal son for personal reasons nearly every single day. I could probably quote it to you word for word. But it was not until today when, right after I read that story, I honed in on the last verse of Romans 10:
Romans 10:21 “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (NIV)
And then, with the added perspective of this week’s lesson on Gideon, the puzzle pieces all seemed to fall into place.
God is, always has been, and always will be the prodigal’s Father. In the story of the prodigal son, the father himself had patience that his son would return someday. God has that same patience with us. Sin looks awfully good for a time, but as the Bible says, the wages of sin are death…sometimes physical death, but more importantly, and more eternally, spiritual death.
In the garden, God lost that daily relationship with man when sin entered the world. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day….did you get that? He WALKED with them! It was a close, intimate relationship. He longed for that relationship to be rekindled so much that He sent His son to die on a cruel cross and His blood to be spilled as an atonement to bring us back to Him….Him, the Father of all prodigals.
God says in that last verse of Romans 10 that He holds out His hands “all day long” to a people that disobedient, defiant, obstinate, self-willed, contrary, stubborn, opposing, rebellious….shall I go on? Does that describe any of us?
What father would continue to stand for that amount of time, waiting for a child to return to him? Only our Heavenly Father, who is gracious and merciful, and who forgives our sins if we believe and confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Once we accept Christ, do we wander from him from time to time? You bet we do. But the truth is that we are the ones who move. God never moves away from us. But, He is always standing, patiently waiting with His arms open wide, to welcome us back home.