His patience means Salvation
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
Why doesn’t God kill me?
This question was asked by one of the students when I was speaking yesterday on the subject of grace. In the ancient times the Lord will struck death transgressors at a wink but nowadays it all seem like God is loose in inflicting such plaques on the son of men. Has God changed?
This questions takes me to think of my own father, I didn’t have encounter with him for punishments. I got away with it for so long until He almost killed me somewhere in 2000 in the year of the Lord. I thought I had escaped his eyes, I thought I was invincible only to notice that he never winked to any of my errors. He was just treasuring up a worthy dose when the heaven would break loose and that fateful evening reminds me of the few divine perfections of God. “And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”
I AM WHO I AM was the revelation of God to Moses after the burning bush experience, In this knowledge he set to confront the majesty of Egypt and the tyrant Pharaoh. Since God was interested to reveal to this nation his power and presence, He parted the sea, he provided manna, Water gushed at his whisper. It was in the aforementioned verbal verse that tells us the characteristic divine perfections of God. That is into two factions by my own estimation. Gracious, merciful, compassionate, slow to anger, loving, forgiving while on the other end is His justice, punishment.
God being slow to anger is the reason we are not wiped to destruction in a moment, mingled mercy sustains every creatures. This means that God is in no obligation to give me breath in the next second, his divine attribute of mercy is the miracle I enjoy every day.
In their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last. Is a warning that Paul sends to his dear disciples in Thessalonica. The justice of God like the justice of men, the prosecutor gathers enough evidence, full evidence before he proceeds to the courtroom to witness against the prosecuted. So is our God, his patience with men is incredible yet it must never fool the creature that he/she is invincible from the blazing eyes of the Lord.
The iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full
It is interesting that the reason why the children of Israel went to captivity instead of wiping this nation was that their cup was not yet full. “In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” Genesis 15:16. It seems that God keep men for different reasons. This was the same words that Christ charged the Pharisees and Sadducees “Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!” to imply that there is a measure given to us that we can come and no farther! Upon reaching that measure we are swept in derision. The wicked might seem to have their way but not very long before the Divine justice with its Judge and smashes their treasures to nothingness.
About instant punishments
The Lord has in some instances winked men to destruction, Abihu and Nadab the sons of Aaron experienced the divine instancy when they tried to lit unholy fire (Unauthorized offering) in the altar. For the better part of the book of Leviticus Moses labours to put instructions in place for the ordinances to be performed. It is clear and precise, none was to do as they pleased. Their slaining was a statement that among those who approach God, He will show himself holy; in the sight of all the people he will be honoured. It was important that this happens to sobers up this priestly household who in the forehead bore a statement ‘HOLINESS TO GOD’. God was simply vindicating his perfection and by the way this was among first time for the practice of this ordinances, to avoid a wrong precedence God sets things straight.
Uzzah was also a victim of the divine instant wrath, this was a time in history when the ark of covenant, which was the symbol of the presence of God had been captured by the philistines, and the drama that unfolded was Dagon breaking to pieces until the nobles of Philistine brought back the ark of covenant. There was a familiarity with the God’s presence that warranted God to sound an alarm and remind this forgetful lot on the commandments that they were to obey. The ark was never to be carried on a cart but was to be carried on the shoulders of the priest. This grieved King David, that he had to retreat and charged the Levites with instructions as God had outlined
Ananias and Sapphira are the New Testament Christians who played subtle with the Holy Spirit and it went sour with their souls. Their keeping back was a sin that was levelled against the Holy Spirit. “You have not lied to the Holy Spirit but to God”. This brought a great deal of Godly fear among the Disciples of Christ.
Slow doses of Divine wrath
‘Nowadays we enjoy, we don’t have to be very careful’ someone may say. Let’s turn our attention to Psalms 50:21 “These things you have done, and I kept silence; you thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you, and state the case in order before your eyes.” God might seem to have given us to our own devices and we might to be on the top of our games and we might think we’ve outwitted God but he tells the wicked in this psalms, when I was silence don’t think I wasn’t seeing. You thought I was one with you, or rather you thought I had agreed with you and your sins. Divine justice is the surest reality, it moves unhindered and will catch up with every soul. In the New Testament this patience of God is for men to acknowledge such riches of the goodness of God that would lead to repentance, and to Salvation. This is patience! This is love.
I would try to wrap up this lofty concept with the words of William Gurnall, who so beautifully coined something on God’s patience.
When I consider how the goodness of God is abused by the greatest part of mankind, I cannot but be of his mind that said, the greatest miracle in the world is God’s patience and bounty to an ungrateful world. If a prince hath an enemy got into one of his towns, he doth not send them in provision, but lays close siege to the place, and doth what he can to starve them. But the great God, that could wink all His enemies into destruction, bears with them, and is at daily cost to maintain them. Well may He command us to bless them that curse us, who Himself does good to the evil and unthankful. But think not, sinners that you shall escape thus; God’s mill goes slow, but grinds small; the more admirable. His patience and bounty now is, the more dreadful and insupportable will that fury be which arises out of His abused goodness. Nothing smoother than the sea, yet when stirred into a tempest, nothing rages more. Nothing as sweet as the patience and goodness of God, and nothing as terrible as His wrath when it takes fire (William Gurnall, 1660).
Why doesn’t God kill me instantly? It is because His patience is bestowed that I may consider this goodness and repent to salvation but certainly if we trample down such patience we must be very afraid, His justice is repay.