Patience of the Lord

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Reading: Ezekiel 7:1-9:11; Proverbs 23:4-5

READ (verses chosen for meditation)
Ezekiel 9:4 “And the LORD said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”

Even at the very end, God showed patience and grace to Israel. Even when Israel was committing abominations to the Lord in all ways and at all times, the Lord sought to spare those who repent. We have the tendency to focus our eyes on how God, commanded His executioners (Ezekiel 9:1-6) to kill the young and old. We complain in our hearts that God was so merciless. We suspected that God seemed to be more concerned with His reputation than with the lives of children. If we do so, we are missing the point.

The point is that God had shown much grace to the people of Israel (If you don’t believe me, just read how He had done so right from Genesis to the Kings). The point is that God had gone out of His way seeking the repentant. The point is that there was actually no need for Him to do so. He is God, why does He need to show grace to our persistent sinful behaviour? Yet He chose to. Even in the book of Ezekiel, even in the Gospels, even right now when we read the word and is thrown into remembrance of how we sinned against the Holy One of Israel. Why? Because as the word says, His steadfast love endures forever.

His steadfast love endures forever.

I reflected on the day God blessed us with our first child. I cried on that day because the good news of my wife’s pregnancy came after I told the Lord in secret that I am going to obey His call to ministry. However, the rejoicing of having our first child did not endure the human sinfulness in me. I am in many ways a father in much learning of how I can better disciple my son. I remember the time when I was so angry with him over but a small matter. I used words I never should. Yet God was ever so full of grace. Not only did He forgive when I repented; he created many opportunities for spiritual heart surgeries in me.

Oh God, how patient You are! Otherwise, I would have perished a thousand deaths! Yet in Jesus, You have given me salvation, a beautiful family and a wonderful family of faith. How then can I but sing praises to You for these debts I can never repay! Help me to ever grow in pleasing You and You alone. Amen.