Saturday, March 26, 2011
I am wrestling with some thoughts in my mind that cause me to see the need for growth. I don’t know about you, but I have trouble seeing grace with people who deliberately sin and continue to go down that road. Before working with sex offenders who sexually molested children, I had little to no grace for their lot in life. When I look at Adolf Hitler who deliberately killed millions of people, I have little empathy for their lives or their futures. I know that my thoughts are not the thoughts of our Lord, and that is why I say I need growth in this area. I can so relate to Jonah’s life in not wanting the sinful Nineveh to hear the message of the Lord and experience His truth.
This week as I have been reading about the kings of Israel, I came upon a man that had a similar background. In I Kings 21:25-26 it says, “There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.” Here is one of those people that fits into this category of not being able to be forgiven. He’s like those in our society who kill people and have no remorse for their actions. My tendency is to look for judgment to come quickly on these type of people.
What causes me to realize my need for growth is the follow-up to this indictment of Ahab. The Lord came to him and told him that he would die and that his wife’s blood would be licked up by the dogs outside the wall. When Ahab heard this, he tore his clothes, but on sackcloth, and fasted, signifying his humbling himself before the Lord for all the deliberate bad things he had done.
The Lord’s response is in I Kings 21:29 where the Lord speaks to Elijah and says, “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day.” What power comes when we humble ourselves before God. Even the vilest person who recognizes his/her sin and humbles themselves before God will be forgiven. What a gracious and forgiving God we have.
On this journey, I need to realize that admitting my choices are sometimes wrong and humbling myself before God causes me to continue to move toward the goal of walking with the Master and experiencing His grace and forgiveness.