"I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me," Says the LORD." NKJV
Often in the Hebrew Scriptures, we read of the judgments of God and gasp as we see Israel and other nations suffering under the Lord's power. While the judgments of God are difficult, we must understand that all through the Old Testament God is showing grace and mercy. In the prophets, He calls for people to turn from their wicked ways and He will forgive them. You see friend, while God's discipline can often seem extreme, His love is just as potent.
Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." NKJV
Extreme love - that is what the God of all creation has shown towards us. While we were steeped in sin and suffering under the weight of condemnation, He stepped out of heaven and gave His life for ours. The punishment that we deserved was placed upon Jesus on the cross. Each strike of the nails that pierced His hands was done so that we could know forgiveness. Each cruel word and slash of the whip on Jesus' body happened so that we could spend eternity with Him. All we have to do is come to Jesus seeking forgiveness and trusting in Him for salvation. As we do, we take part in the greatest love anyone could ever know.
Life Lesson: God goes to extreme measures to reveal His love for us.
I know that I have done wrong. Today, I come to You and ask that You would forgive me of all my sins. I confess that Jesus is Lord and I believe that He died for my sins and was raised from the grave three days later. Lord, make me a new creation and fill me with Your Spirit so that I can live for You. In Jesus' name, Amen.