May 26: A Longsuffering God
1 Chronicles 18:1–20:8; 2 Timothy 2:1–13; Psalm 85
God is longsuffering, but sometimes we take this for granted. How often have we given into temptation, expecting to be obedient at a later date?
Psalm 85 gives a testimony of God’s faithfulness in the past: “O Yahweh, you favored your land. You restored the fortunes of Jacob. You took away the guilt of your people; you covered all their sin. You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your burning anger” (Psa 85:1–3).
As he experiences that judgment, the psalmist remembers God’s past restoration, and he hopes for it once more: “I will hear what God, Yahweh, will speak, because he will speak peace to his people, even his faithful ones”; he also sets a condition: “but let them not return to folly” (Psa 85:8).
Do we wait until bad times before we realize God’s amazing grace for us?
God’s faithfulness is also expressed in surprising moments in the New Testament, like Paul’s exhortation to Timothy. Paul tells him to be strong in grace and offers comfort while presenting a challenge: “For if we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are unfaithful, he remains faithful—he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:11–13).
These passages portray a God who is incredibly patient. But they also present a sense of urgency and demand a response. If we acknowledge our sin and seek Him, He is faithful to forgive us. But we shouldn’t use His faithfulness as an excuse to delay our response. He wants our complete loyalty.
How are you responding to God’s calling in your life?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- And after this, David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath, and the villages thereof out of the hand of the Philistines. And he smote Moab, and the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts. And David smote Hadadezer King of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to establish his border by the river Perath. And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and destroyed all the chariots, but he reserved of them an hundred chariots. Then came the Aramites of Damascus to succor Hadadezer king of Zobah, but David slew of the Aramites two and twenty thousand. And David put a garrison in Aram of Damascus, and the Aramites became David’s servants, and brought gifts: and the Lord preserved David wheresoever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were of the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Tibhath, and from Chun (cities of Hadadezer) brought David exceeding much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brazen Sea, and the pillars and the vessels of brass. Then Tou King of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the hosts of Hadadezer king of Zobah: Therefore he sent Hadoram his son to king David, to salute him, and to rejoice with him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and beaten him (for Tou had war with Hadadezer) who brought all vessels of gold and silver and brass. And king David did dedicate them unto the Lord, with the silver and gold that he brought from all the nations, from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek. And Abishai the son of Zeruiah smote of Edom in the salt valley eighteen thousand, And he put a garrison in Edom, and all the Edomites became David’s servants: and the Lord preserved David wheresoever he went. So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice to all his people. And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host, and Jehosaphat the son of Ahilud Recorder, And Zadok the sons of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathat were the Priests, and Shavsha the Scribe, And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites: and the sons of David were chief about the King. 1 Chronicles 18:1–20:8
- Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what things thou hast heard of me, by many witnesses, the same deliver to faithful men, which shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore suffer affliction as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth, entangeleth himself with the affairs of this life, because he would please him that hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if any man also strive for a mastery, he is not crowned, except he strive as he ought to do. The husbandman must labor before he receive the fruits. Consider what I say: and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Rememer that Jesus Christ, made of the seed of David, was raised again from the dead according to my Gospel, Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer, even unto bonds: but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I suffer all things as an evil doer, even unto bonds: but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I suffer all things for the elect’s sake, that they might also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. It is a true saying, For if we be dead together with him: we also shall live together with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign together with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us. If we believe not, yet abideth he faithful: he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:1–13
- Lord, thou hast been favorable unto thy land: thou hast brought again the captivity of Jacob. Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, and covered all their sins. Selah. Thou hast withdrawn all thine anger, and hast turned back from the fierceness of thy wrath. Turn us, O God of our salvation, and release thine anger toward us. Wilt thou be angry with us forever? and wilt thou prolong thy wrath from one generation to another? Wilt thou not turn again and quicken us, that thy people may rejoice in thee? Show us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hearken what the Lord God will say: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his Saints, that they turn not again to folly. Surely his salvation is near to them that fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth shall meet, righteousness and peace shall kiss one another. Truth shall bud out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yea, the Lord shall give good things, and our land shall give her increase. Righteousness shall go before him, and shall set her steps in the way. Psalm 85