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God’s Long Patience (Nehemiah 9: 26-31)

The pattern of sin, judgment, repentance and deliverance is recurrent not only here and in the book of Judges, but throughout the entire Bible. It is through this cycle that the goodness of God demonstrated through patience is seen most clearly.

After Moses broke the first tablets of stone in anger, God graciously gave him a new copy because He is “the Lord slow to anger” (Exodus 34:6).  Israel, weary by their wilderness wondering, saw no point in continuing their journey. Despite Moses, Aaron, Joshuah and Caleb’s attempts to reason with them, Israel longed to return to Egypt, choosing instead to stone their leaders. God would have wiped Israel out right then and there, but Moses interceded based on two immutable facts: (1) God would appear unable to keep His promise to give them land; and (2) He is “the Lord slow to anger and abounding is steadfast love” (Numbers 14:18). Countless times His servant David, whether in hiding from Saul or in self inflicted calamity, trusted in God’s grace, mercy, patience, steadfast love, and faithfulness.

The Apostle Paul understood that God’s forbearance and patience are meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Apostle Peter saw the patient suffering of Christ, “the righteous for the unrighteous,” as a means to bring us to God (1Peter 3:18). So to are we to understand that this same attribute is required of us in order to bring others to discipleship in Christ (Ephesians 4:2). And it is amply supplied as Spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22). Not to be disheartened, it requires a moment-by-moment trust in God to fulfill His promises and purposes in your life at His appointed time. In other words, it requires God-pleasing faith!

How have you demonstrated patience lately? Is your patience clearly see in the eye of those who have not yet come to discipleship?

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