But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.Deuteronomy 4:29-31
What a beautifully forgiving Word from our Lord. This came after the turning away of his people time and time again. But God, in his immense love for his people, continued to forgive over and over. I often wonder if he feels the way I feel when my son has repeatedly done something I have discussed with him so many times over. I am upset with him, I feel disrespected, I worry for him and about him, I wonder why he just won’t listen, but most of all, I am hurt because I love him so much and I want what is best for him. No matter what, I forgive my child, because he is my child. I can’t help but love him! But, I need to know that he is going to change the behavior causing all the trouble…
Is that how God feels about us? I have to tell you, this verse has been my life verse for the past several years. I had turned from Him so many times. I continually tried to do things, fix things, arrange things on my own. What was the result? One big mess after another. Even after all He had done for me, I kept turning away. I literally hear the frustration, and interestingly the love, in His voice as he speaks in the next few verses:
Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other.Deuteronomy 4:32-35
Can you hear Him? He reminds his people of the fact that He lovingly created them, that He spoke to them out of fire (WOW), and that He let them live after hearing Him. He even compares himself to other “gods” – showing them the magnitude of His love! He just wants them to know that He is theirs and they are His….there is no one better for them than Him.
Sounds a lot like me talking to my son…reminding him of all that has been sacrificed for him and letting him know that I actually do know best and only want the best for him.
Whew…and to think what a failing parent I am. I am sososo imperfect. But my God – well, he IS perfect. It blows me away to think of the perfect love He lavishes on us. I don’t know about you, but it definitely shames me to think of the times I walked away from him…like a child running off from her mother in the mall…bent on my own wants and not caring about anything else. How selfish and foolish I am!
“But if from there….” That’s what He says. If from there we seek Him, we will find Him. Just like that frightened child that ran off from her mother and then found herself frightened and alone in the middle of a store, full of regret. God says, if from there, we stop and turn back to seeking Him, we will find Him. I don’t know if you remember being lost and finally finding your mother, but I certainly do. The relief that flooded through me was so comforting! But, as a parent, the relief I would feel when I would find my son when he wandered off was nothing short of explosive…literally enabling me to breath normally again!
Does God feel that way about us when we turn from our “there”? I think He does. He says He does. He tells us in His Word that He won’t abandon us…and He won’t destroy us. With me, He had perfect reason to destroy me, but instead, He just loved me. Hallelujah!
So, where is your “there”? Are you at a point in your life where you know you have to turn from your “there” and seek Him again? If so, please do not hesitate. The further we are from Him, the closer we are to the enemy…and the enemy wants to destroy us. He tried very hard with me, and came rather close. But, from there, from the depths of my sin and my despair, He allowed me to turn back to Him. I was flooded with comforting relief, and I think He was probably filled with something similar to the explosive feeling of being able to breathe again. Praise His holy name that He forgives us!