Last week I was looking at the verses I had highlighted in Deuteronomy. When I was reading the highlighted verses in chapter 31, God moved my heart.
20 When I bring them into the land I swore to give their fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey, they will eat their fill and prosper. They will turn to other gods and worship them, despising Me and breaking my covenant. 21 And when many troubles and afflictions come to them, this song will testify against them because their descendants will not have forgotten it. For I know what they are prone to do, even before I bring them into the land I swore to give them (emphasis mine).
God knew that the Israelites would turn away from Him, but He gave them the promised land anyway; they were still His chosen people.
We read the stories of the Israelites turning from God and we think, “How could you be so… well, stupid?” But we do the same thing. We are in the same boat as the Israelites.
It reminds me of a line from Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing:
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it/ Prone to leave the God I love”
We have a tendency to try and fill our lives with anything and everything – just like the Israelites did. When God gave us free will in the very beginning, He knew that this would be a side effect, yet He chose to do it anyway. He knows our hearts are prone to wander, yet He loves us anyway. No matter how far we go, He’s waiting. No matter what we try to fill the God-shaped hole in our heart with, He’s waiting. What beautiful, gracious love.
To me, this kind of love makes me want to do anything but stray. It makes me want to draw near to the Father who loves me so fiercely, the Father that would send His son to bridge the gap between Him and me, the Father that sees the blood of Jesus rather than my trespasses.
Photo Credit: Cristina Gottardi