Wednesday, February 06, 2019

The overtures that God, the Jehovah, has made and still makes to His creation are without comparison. I am intrigued at how in spite of our countless wrong-doings, faults and persistent disobedience, God could still have a place in His heart for us, to cherish us as His own.  That is the beauty of knowing Him as a Father. He will never disown His children. Yes, He may be angry at us and punish us, but He will never throw us away. That is why the psalmist could write; “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbour His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:8-10)

Outside of His love, we are lost. We are nothing without Him. When we fail to heed His multiple warnings and choose to listen to the voice of the prince of this world, we only expose ourselves to danger and put ourselves in harm’s way. In this relationship, we need God more than He needs us. We need Him every day, at every hour, if only for our livelihood, protection, safety and security. His arms are always open for us to run into as would a child to his or her father. His love never fails. He renews His assurance “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed; for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)  

For long we have taken God’s love for granted, turning our backs on Him to look the other way. The Word of God reminds us that, “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5) We are expected to fix our eyes on Him. Again the psalmist writes, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:1-4)

Therefore look no further! “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving to all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfils the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.” (Psalm 145:17)

King David, a renowned songwriter or psalmist in his day, recognised how the love of God had blessed him and had granted him innumerable favours. Therefore he basked in His love. He tasted and saw that the Lord is good. “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made. All you have made will praise you O Lord; your saints will extol you.” (Psalm145:8-10)

He contemplated on the power of God’s love in an attempt to comprehend it, but he could not fathom it. On one instance he wrote; “What is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” (Psalm 144:3-4) That God, the Sovereign Lord should take interest in him, a sinner who did outrageous things, confounded him.

He urges us to be grateful to God for all He has done and continues to do for humanity. “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) A popular song compels us to count our blessings and name them one by one. They would be so many, they will overwhelm us.

Nothing about us surprises God. In fact nothing we do or are involved in is hidden from Him. Everything is laid bare before his eyes. But for His love we would have been consumed. “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29)

Are we conscious of God’s all-compassing and unconditional love? How do we reciprocate? The Bible teaches that “We [ought to] love because He first loved us.” (1 John 5:19)

The devil had deceived our ancestors in the Garden to be suspicious of God’s love when he asked them “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’ ” and boldly assured the couple “You will not surely die.” This was contrary to God’s instruction which stated; “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden: but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-18) Of course because of their obedience they were kicked out of the garden.

By this action, our first reaction would be to fear God. But God acted justly for He had warned them that if they ate of the fruit they would die, meaning they would be separated from His presence. Today, we are comforted that we have access to the Most High God. “Therefore there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 5:18)

 Today, we should rather be encouraged by the words of the psalmist. “Because he [meaning us] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

Whenever God intervenes on our behalf, our cry of gratefulness should be: “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 116:1)

Our plea should always be; “Whom I have in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:25)

Let our prayer be: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8) 

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye