I’m finishing up Exodus and moving on to Leviticus!
For the first time ever in my life, I’ve been craving to read more of the Bible. I feel guilty for admitting that because I was raised in the church, but it’s the truth. I have never had the desire to read the Bible straight through. Picking certain books and chapters to read? Absolutely. However, that doesn’t come close to giving the word of God in its entirety. So, it’s exciting to say that one month in for 2019, and I can’t wait to keep reading more.
I do have days that are difficult to get through certain chapters. I find myself skimming, going back to reread sections that I couldn’t recall one word of reading. But I’m pushing through because then there are other days where God has shown me new perspectives of His love for us. One example was this:
I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected – even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.Exodus 20:5-6 (NLT)
The first time I read through that section, my focus was immediately drawn to the punishment.
I think in many ways, Christianity is looked at based upon the punishments. Do this and be punished. Live this way and be punished. Do you feel that way toward Christianity? If you do, I pray that this will change your perspective just a bit.
If a child hits another child, what is the first thing the parent does? (or should do…) They correct the child and tell them that they shouldn’t hit others. If the child does it again and again after being told to stop, consequences will ensue in order to teach the child respect for others. In the same sense, that is God’s entire point in disciplining his people. When He first created us, we didn’t possess the knowledge of evil – see this post for more info: Genesis. Therefore, we weren’t aware of our ability to choose against God’s word until that choice was made.
And what exactly is God’s word? It is the perfect Goodness in which God is. He is perfect and cannot do wrong so therefore, what He instructs us to do is pretty spot on…yet we choose not to listen to Him.
Insert: the consequence.
In short, if we choose to go against what God has instructed for us, there needs to be discipline – just as the child who hits others needs to be disciplined.
Now, let’s do a 180 and look at what verse 6 says.
But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.Exodus 20:6 (NLT)
The verse before this one states that the punishment of the sins made will affect the third and fourth generations. If you only dwell on the verse, it can make God out to be this unloving disciplinarian. But if you shift your focus on the next verse, you can see that His love extends so much further beyond the discipline aspect. He lavishes unfailing love for a THOUSAND generations. I mean, there’s really no argument here when it comes to deciding if God is a loving God.
The beautiful part is that He extends his mercy and grace to those who choose to accept it. The minute someone in that “punishment generation” decides to live for God, the unfailing love has now wiped out that generational curse and opened up a gift for a thousand generations to follow.
So you can either dwell on the discipline that is necessary to show us God’s way,
or you can open your eyes and see just how loving God truly is. His desire is for you to seek Him and live for Him so that He can spoil you with His unfailing love.
If you’d like to further discuss anything from this post, I’d love to! Send an email to email@example.com.