They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious, and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. – Nehemiah 9:17
What a perfect description of my state before God and His mercy towards me. How often do I still (even though I’ve been redeemed & justified) refuse to obey God? How often do I ignore what I know I should do? How often do I get distracted by other things and spend enough time in devotions? How often do I get so busy that I forget to focus on God and marvel at all He has done. How often I am stiff-necked. How often do I return to the slavery of my sin.
But, God is always read to forgive. He constantly forgives my sins against Him. He forgives them completely and He forgives them willingly. He doesn’t just do it because He has to, He wants to! He didn’t have to send His Son to earth. He didn’t have to watch His Son be tortured. He didn’t have to pour out His full and complete wrath upon His Son (who He had spent all of eternity past in sweet communion with). We wanted to. For some reason that I’ll never be able to figure out, He wanted to save me. God, the Creator of the universe, wanted to snatch me from the filth of my sin. He wanted to redeem me. He wanted me to be His daughter and have communion with Him. He wanted to sanctify me and be with me on the journey of my life. And if that wasn’t enough, He was well aware of all the sins I would commit (after I was saved), when He choose to save me. That blows my mind away! It doesn’t make sense, why would anyone (and especially God) want to do that for me?
I love the words this particular Scripture uses. He is read to forgive, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, ABOUNDING in steadfast love (His love isn’t just there, it abounds…never ends.), He does not forsake. God doesn’t just tell us He loves it. He goes to great lengths to convince us that this love is unlike anything we will ever experience or be able to imagine…it never ends.