(meditations in Deuteronomy -chapters 4-10)
Every once in a while, you’ll hear a story about some rich kid who takes it too far and gets into some big trouble. Usually the story can be described by these bullet points:
* there is a man who is extremely wealthy
* he has gotten this way from his hard work and obsession with his work which has come at the cost of neglecting his family and his parenting responsibilities
*in a desire to show his children he has feelings for them and also out of guilt, he spoils them. He buys them whatever they want, does not discipline them in any way, and bails them out of trouble again and again, though they often have no regrets.
When it comes to God and us, there are some similarities with the above scenario, but some deep contrasts with the way He relates to us:
* our God though is also wealthy. He created all things (deut. 4:32) and is Sovereign over all. He owns it all.
* far from neglecting His children, He seeks to be deeply involved with them. He loves His children (7:7), He will discipline them (4:36,8:5), He talks with them (5:4, 22,26), He offers wise advice (5:6-21,29), He is personally involved with them (4:37), and He protects them (6:20-23).
* because of his intense love for his children, He does not act as their personal genie, beckoning to their every desire. God has no guilt from His involvement with His children because He has demonstrated a consistent, perfect love towards them. So, when His children are in distress (4:30-31), and they call upon Him for His help, He will demonstrate compassion and be there to help. However, He is willing to offer wise discipline to His
children, sometimes allowing His children to experience lean circumstances to humble them and test them (8:2-5) to see what is in their heart and whether they will obey His principles. As His children go through tough times, He will help provide guidance and help little by little (8:22-24). He will not act as a genie and offer instant deliverance from hard times, but like a friend encouraging his workout buddy to keep lifting the bar one more rep (“come on, you can do it, you’re almost there, one more”).
God wants us to feel secure knowing He is there and loves us. We are His children and He is an awesome Father!