When we reflect upon just how much God loved his Chosen People we should be moved to tears. He loved them so much to lead them out of Egypt and carry them through the desert. Even when they turned away from him, he pursued them and cried out for them to come home. How could they be so stupid? God himself was with them, but they chose to sacrifice to idols instead. They had it all and they gave it up for nothing.
Don’t we do exactly the same? When given a choice, aren’t we tempted to choose the things that draw us into sin? Given such a predicament, we are left to cry out with Saint Paul: “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Saint Paul also recognised that we can choose to turn away from sin and live for Christ.
Even in the midst of the Israelites’ constant wandering, God goes after them and carries them back. What’s worse, they don’t even realize that God is behind their prosperity. And again, the parallel to our lives is clear: how many times has God watched out for us, and we haven’t noticed? If we could just step back and look at the bigger picture of our lives, we would see just how intensely loving and faithful our heavenly Father is.
God loves us unconditionally, but there are always consequences to the choices we make. God always forgives us, but he disciplines us as well. We can’t sin and expect to get away scot free. And even when God does discipline us, it’s always in love, and his discipline always bears a measure of hope and encouragement. My brother and I learned the hard way that when our father reached for the leather belt hanging in the pantry it was to teach us a lesson and not just to belt the living daylights out of us. So let’s take some time today to see the bigger picture of our lives. God will never abandon us. May we never abandon him.