Yesterday I mentioned my relapsing friend who is giving me grief about God’s role in his homelessness. I mentioned the challenges I have, as a pastor, responding to his lament. In this particular situation, I replied to his text like this: “I am sorry you are suffering; how can I support your recovery?” Notice that I did not use our texting to talk about God, one way or the other. But it did make me think.
There are plenty of reasons for all of us to ask ourselves questions about God’s response to us when we are in the middle of a season of disobedience. During my friend’s years of sobriety he often said things like, “I surely tested God’s love with my using; I was not the godly man he wanted me to be.” Did my friend test God’s love?
I have never been comfortable with that perspective, but if we read the following verses, maybe we can see why he thinks that he put God to the test.
5 So now, if you faithfully obey me and stay true to my covenant, you will be my most precious possession out of all the peoples, since the whole earth belongs to me. 6 You will be a kingdom of priests for me and a holy nation. These are the words you should say to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:5-6 CEB
Before I share some thoughts, let me ask you: do you believe that the only way you will ever be precious is if you are constantly obedient to God?
To be continued….