God made the nation of Israel out of a promise to Abraham, raising her and caring for her, delivering her from Egypt and planting her in a land of her own. “I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves” (Leviticus 26:12-13). Israel was the family of God, and in all families, there are rules, “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments…” (Leviticus 26:14). Israel had broken a lot of rules, important rules like, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), and now they were in trouble.
“No throwing a ball in the house,” was one of our rules. My son threw a ball. It broke a vase, so he hid the pieces, but he was 5 years old and 5-year olds do not hide well. “Go to your room,” I growled, holding the pieces in my hand.
I waited. Five minutes feels like five hours when you are five. Opening his door, I walked in with my mad face. He was sitting on the top bunk, frightened, but not of being punished. His damp eyes met mine with one question: “Are we still okay, Dad? You and me?” We were and I smiled and then he wasn’t scared anymore. He knew he was still in trouble, but trouble is okay as long as he knows Dad and Son are still okay.
Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved! ~Psalm 80:3, 7, 19
My God, though I turn away and do my own thing, and break rules, and wander off the path, Your grace is still before me. When I turn back to You and see Your love and say, “I’m sorry and I’ll stop,” You forgive me. Even when I do it again. And again.
God, I don’t want to take You for granted, and I’m sorry when I do. I do what I don’t want to do a lot, but less often as I grow in my trust and faith in Your goodness. I’m amazed that You still smile down on me, and forever I thank and praise You. You are my refuge, my strength, and my salvation.