This post first appeared in the Christianity for Life blog
Sometimes the going gets tough and it looks like the bad guys are winning. The world around us appears to be sinking into chaos as popular culture hacks away at the Judaeo Christian pillars and foundations of our society. As we approach complete moral collapse we wonder, as Christians, if we should be preparing for the return of our Lord. Could these be the end times? Is the time of the rapture approaching? It sure feels like it sometimes. Where else can this slippery slope of decline be taking us?
And where is God?
Earlier today as I was setting up tomorrow’s Daily Bible Verse for Search The Bible, the words in Deuteronomy 7:9 spoke to me and I felt encouraged to write this post. Here’s the verse:
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
It starts out with Moses telling us that we should know that our God is actually God. “He is God”, he says. Moses is stating the obvious here to remind Israel and the rest of us that our God isn’t just a small-g god dreamed up in someone’s pagan imagination, He is God!
Good to know.
Moses goes on to remind us that our God is the faithful God. Again, not some wish-granting, lucky-charm god of the superstitious. Our God is faithful. Our God keeps His promises and is faithful in His mercy to those of us that love Him and keep His commandments.
Keep His commandments? Yikes, that’s not going to work, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.
If you’re wondering where God is these days, you’re not alone and you’re not the first. In Psalm 10 the psalmist (widely assumed to be King David) wonders, “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” In Psalm 13 he asks, “How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?”.
There’s encouragement for us in King David’s laments. He’s going through some rough times on a fairly broad scale, just as Christ’s church is today. But when he asks, how long will you forget me? These are the words of a man who remembers a past relationship with God. He’s not asking, if there is a God where is He? in the philosophical sense. He’s asking the God he knows to exist how long he’s going to have to wait. Forever perhaps? He’s clearly a bit depressed in his situation, but there’s no doubt in his mind that the God who dealt directly with him in the past is quite capable of doing so in the future!
And indeed, God was faithful to David, just as Moses declared in Deuteronomy 7:9.
So we’re not the first, and might not be the last to wonder where God is in the world. This is where our faith comes in. We need to stand on God’s promises knowing that He is faithful.
And as for those commandments? Despite our shortcomings, dear Christian, God looks upon you and me as righteous. When we accepted God’s gift of salvation through the work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we became clothed in the righteousness of the Son of God. So God will indeed keep His promise of mercy and salvation because we love Him, and because we have, in His eyes, kept His commandments. By allowing Jesus to live in us through the Holy Spirit, we remain obedient in Christ.
So when the going gets tough, hold on to those words of Moses; He is God, the faithful God.
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