Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Divine consistency

God continues to promise rescue and blessings to all who feel as if they do not deserve this attention. 'I will never forget you' says God in Isaiah 49:15. 

Yet, in the face of misfortune and adversity, it is common to believe falsely that God is no longer aware of us, and needs reminding. This is voiced in some Psalms.

'How long O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
(Psalm 13:1)

'O God, you have rejected us. You have broken us; you have been angry; now restore us.' (Ps 60:1)

'My God my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Ps 22:1)

'O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?' (Ps 74:1)

God never ceases to forgive sin and heal its effects. His kindness and compassion don't just stop with disregarding the penitent's past. There is always promise for the future as well. 

'When the time comes to save you, I will show you favour and answer your cries for help.

I will guard and protect you and through you make a covenant with all peoples. (Is 49:8)

There's a hint here of the universal relevance of the story of God's chosen people to all humankind, a theme which comes to the forefront in the Gospels and Acts, proclaiming him who is 'light to lighten the Gentiles' (Luke 2:32)

The theme of restoration of the promised land after the ravages of war and famine repeats itself in the prophetic record, throughout the history of Israel.

I will let you settle once again in your land that is now laid waste. I will say to the prisoners, ‘Go free!’ and to those who are in darkness, ‘Come out to the light!’ They will be like sheep that graze on the hills; they will never be hungry or thirsty. Sun and desert heat will not hurt them, for they will be led by one who loves them. He will lead them to springs of water.' (Isaiah 49:9-11)

Remembering the consistency of God in contrast to human variability is cause for praise and thanksgiving. The sentence that appears as part of post-communion prayers in Anglican forms of the Eucharist is well worthy of repetition, not only after the church's greatest act of remembrance, but in everyday prayer as well.

'O give thanks to the Lord for he is gracious; for his mercy endures forever.' (Psalm 118:1)

No comments:

Post a Comment