Perhaps you have noticed a pattern.
Good years, bad years. Promises, broken promises. Poor choices, good choices.
Years ago I was reading in the OT on my own and I remarked to my husband on the waywardness of the Israelite people. How they kept messing up and then promising to do better and then failing again. My husband in all his wisdom said “they remind me of myself”.
It is true, I am a lot like them. It is easy in hindsight to read their exploits and to judge, to think that I would never do the things that they do, to forsake God that way.
However, just like the Israelites, I forget about God all the time. I forget all the good things He has done for me, His faithfulness and His promises. I doubt, I grumble, I rebel. I even have the benefit of the Holy Spirit living inside me, and God’s holy word available to me at all times. And yet I turn away.
There are a lot of uncomfortable, hard truths in the Bible. Terrible things happen to God’s people as a result of their sin and rebellion. I am grateful that God does not treat me as my sin deserves.
Psalm 103:10-14 (NIV)
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
So as we wrap up our time in the Old Testament I pray I will feel compassion for the Israelites plight, and to not judge their foolish ways. I will try to remember how very much like them I am, and I hopefully learn from them as well.