After reading about Israel the past few months, you probably have been repeatedly frustrated with them because of their stubbornness. They were constantly disobedient, stiffened people. Early in their national history, God told Moses to step aside and he would consume or destroy the people. Moses interceded not because of the people, but for God’s reputation.
The people were disobedient and had the knowledge of God, and yet, they wouldn’t accept him. Later, John 12 and in Matthew 12 we see the definitive rejection of Christ as their Messiah. However, He holds out his arms for them all the day. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not” (Matthew 23:37)!
We have a God that is longsuffering. He is patient. He endures my hardness. There was a poem written in the late 1800’s that was heralded as one of the best odes in the English language. The name of the poem is “The Hound of Heaven.” It is a beautiful, artistic way of describing the relentless pursuit God gives to His creation.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;I fled Him, down the arches of the years;I fled Him, down the labyrinthine waysOfmy own mind; and in the midst of tearsI hid from Him, and under running laughter.Up vistaed hopes I sped;And shot, precipitated,Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.But with unhurrying chase,And unperturbed pace,Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,They beat- and a Voice beatMore instant than the Feet –‘All things betray thee, who betrayest Me’…Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,I am He Whom thou seekest!Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me…Allwhich I took from thee I did but take,Not for thy harms,But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
God is relentless in his love. The holy hunt for those he cherishes is still continuing today. “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).