March 23rd 2009

Slow To Anger

“They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders which You did among them…… But You are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them.”
Nehemiah 9:17 (NKJ)

Do you sometimes think you caused God to lose His temper and that you won’t be forgiven? It is true that God’s standards are far higher than ours, but God’s love is also far greater than ours.

Hebrews 12:5-7 says, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens…If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten.” And goes on to say in verse 11, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” We love our children and that love includes disciplining them. When they understand their error and apologise, we forgive them and soon our relationship is on an even keel again. How many times have we had to discipline our children? And how many times have we forgiven them and restored a good relationship with them again? It’s probably too many to count. Though, sadly, some parents and children are not so fortunate, and relationships are damaged. But then we are imperfect people.

We can be somewhat quick in losing our cool with our children and somewhat slow to forgive them, but God is neither quick to anger nor slow to forgive. As we are reminded in Nehemiah, God was ready to pardon the stubborn and forgetful Israelites. He was gracious to them and merciful, showing them great kindness in not forsaking them, having been slow to anger. God, being unchangeable, is the same toward us.

Yes, we should go to God to confess our sin and to repent when we have thought, said, or done wrong, but we don’t have to be fearful in doing so. God wants His relationship with us restored as soon as is possible. The sooner we humbly go to Him the sooner our relationship with Him will be fully restored.

Dear Father, we thank you for the example of parent and child relationships. Please help us to understand that you are the perfect Parent, the perfect Father. May we not believe Satan’s lie that you have forsaken us but, rather, may we humbly yet confidently approach you to ask for forgiveness. Thank you for being so patient with us, for being slow to anger and so quick to forgive.

Study by Ruth Edwards 

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