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God's Amazing Faithfulness, Part 2

God Will Gather You and Bring You Back

I was struck yet again as I was reading in the book of Deuteronomy with even more wonderful words from the heart of God about His people. I was rereading chapter 30, and verse 4 seemed to "jump out" at me: "Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back."

Again, these words are uttered during a long discussion of how God will fulfill His promises, and yet He knows already that His people will still turn away from Him, bringing upon themselves the "curse" spoken of in the Law. Yet as He speaks of the future, He tells of a time when He will gather them back to Himself.

What a joy to know that God has a heart that is so faithful, forgiving and loving, that He will gather us back to Himself ... even if we have wandered far enough away from Him, that He would describe our state as being "banished to the most distant land under the heavens". That's a long way for Him to search for us. I'm grateful that He longs for us that much ... to seek us out and restore us. Jesus came to earth to do that, you know. He came to seek you out and bring you close to His heart. No matter where your heart has "wandered" to, He longs to hold you close to Himself and restore you.

God's Affectionate Heart

Look at these verses that are in chapter 32 of Deuteronomy. They are sprinkled throughout that chapter, in which Moses is reciting (before God's people) the words of a song that summarizes the story of God and the Israelites. It discusses His faithfulness, as well as His people's wanderings. Yet in the midst of those difficult words, there are such tender words of love and compassion of God toward His beloved people ... His treasured possession. I have put these affectionate verses side by side to help us get a fuller grasp of His heart toward us...

"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he....

...the Lord's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance. In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.... He nourished him with honey from the rock.... You drank the foaming blood of the grape....

The Lord will judge his people and have compassion on his servants when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. He will say ... '...See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.' "

(Deuteronomy 32:2-4, 9-11, 13b, 14b, 36-37a, 39)

He Longs for You

Did you know that He longs for you, too? Surely, all these words were originally spoken to the Hebrew nation. His love extends far beyond just those in that "blood line" also. In the book of Romans (11:11-24), Paul compares followers of Jesus to branches that have been "grafted in" to the "olive tree" of Israel. Now, in case you know nothing about gardening ... a variety of trees and vines can be cut in certain ways that a branch from another related plant can be connected at that point, and will actually become a part of the plant that is attached to the original root. Believers in Jesus actually become a part of that original "olive tree" through faith in what He accomplished. By God's love and grace, He has extended His promises beyond Israel, to ANY heart that desires to come to him, in the spirit of Israel ... with the same trusting heart that lived within the founding fathers of that faith. If your heart longs to know Him, He stands with open arms, yearning to gather you to Himself. No matter how far you may have wandered, He is faithful enough to bring you back... Won't you let Him?

April 23, 2004

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