Today’s AMI QT is provided by Cami King of JCC (Raleigh).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“OUR PATIENT GOD”
When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. 4 Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. 5 So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died
Seth is described as a son in the likeness of Adam – repetition of the language of humanity’s creation in the likeness of God. The interesting thing is that none of Adam’s other children (Cain and Abel ) are so described. Only Seth. Commentators suggest that the writer of Genesis is speaking in spiritual terms, and Seth was made in the “spiritual” likeness of Adam –that the birth of Seth marks a new spiritual linage in the human genealogy.
One thing that’s for sure is the clear contrast between the line of Cain (poor Abel didn’t make it very far) and the line of Seth. Cain’s line flows directly out of humanity’s sin against God. We see this in his birth which is described as something humanity themselves did (“I have created man just as the Lord did” [Gen. 4:1]). But after 130 years, Seth is born, and it seems that the years have indeed wrought wisdom because humanity (finally) again acknowledges God (“God has given me another child…” [Gen. 4:25]; “At this time people began to worship the Lord” [Gen. 4:26]).
The Bible is true when it says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). So wonderful, in fact, that it took the first of us 130 years to experience our limitations in such a way that we finally turned again to our Maker. We all do this: we miss God in the midst of God’s creation. Even our gifts, talents, treasures are an expression of just how good a Creator God is. Yet, it’s those very things that often delay our acknowledgement and dependence upon God. We worship our stuff and ourselves in lieu of our Giver and our Maker.
But God is patient. Even after 130 years, God had not given up. God patiently waited for humanity to turn and once they did, in the likeness of the Human Creation as God intended it (as a gift from Him), Seth was born. Praise be to our patient God, who wills that no one perish, but all come to repentance!
Prayer: Thank You God for Your patience with me. So often I live out of my brokenness instead of choosing to live out of the new life You’ve made available to me in Jesus Christ. Thank You for patiently bearing with me and with this broken world long enough for You to redeem it and make it new. Help me acknowledge You today, so that I may be a contributor to Your redemptive work in the world and not an agent of the world’s destruction. In Jesus’ name.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 42
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Peter 3:3-9: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Questions to Consider
- According to this passage, why does it seem that the Lord is slow to fulfill His promises? In what areas of your life (or of human history) do you find yourself evaluating God as “slow about His promise”? How does this passage encourage you?
- How does this passage describe the mockers? What do they say, what do they do, and why do they say and do those things? In what ways do you find yourself behaving like these mockers in your life?
- What are some promises of God in which you need to renew your hope today? Write them down and spend sometime declaring them in your heart.
- It seems to us that the Lord is slow because He is patient. God is not wishing that anyone would perish, but wants all people to come to repentance. Because of this, God is patient and thus can seem slow, uncaring, powerless, and absent when we lack understanding.
- The mockers follow after their own lusts because they don’t see God doing what was promised. They have forgotten who God really is – the One who created the world with a word, cleansed it through the flood, and now preserves it. While it’s easy to condemn the mockers, we all have a little mocker in us. When things don’t go our way or when we don’t understand, we may find ourselves doubting God’s promises and following our own passions and desires, instead of patiently choosing to wait on God in faithful obedience.
- Spend some time in personal reflection.
One of my favorite Christian bands is a South African girl group called “The Arrows.” In their song Ode to a Patient God, they beautifully describe God’s patience with humanity:
You sit and watch the cars and planes hurry by. You wonder when they’ll arrive. Sometimes you try to catch their eye. They turn to hide, and You turn to sigh. And don’t You go insane? All 6,000 years of us treating you this way? All this time, well, does it make you tired? I can’t believe You waited for me like it was worth Your while.
We see the church and the lost, [but] You see Your bride and Your sons. And full of hope, You carry on making us one; just on and on. And patiently You wait never wanting us to die If we could still be saved. Oh, is it so? Having all control and then controlling nothing at all of what You’re hoping for?
I Surround my gate tonight searching to and fro to find Someone who will fight. Oh, I wonder what You’ll see. I can’t believe You waited for me… And so If there’s anything you need, anything at all, you just call I made a promise I’ll keep So ’till we meet…
Spend some time this evening reflecting on the patience of God. In what areas of your life have you experienced God’s patience? Imagine what your life would be like if God was as impatient as we often are. Offer God thanks for His patience toward you and those around you and declare anew your trust in God in your areas of waiting.
Consider listening to The Arrows “Ode to a Patient God” during your time of reflection.