Have you ever watched someone be taken advantage of over and over again, and thought, “Why do they put up with that? They’re too nice.”
These thoughts come to mind when reading 2 Kings chapter 13. There you find the king of Israel (Jehoahaz) committing adultery and doing what is evil in Gond’s sight. But, when the king and the people suffer the consequences of being harassed and defeated by Aram, King Jehoahaz prays to God and God rescues him and his people. (2 Kings 13:5) Then, in the very next verse, they go back to sinning and committing adultery!
Then, when king Jehoahaz dies, his son (Jehoash) takes over and he too does what is evil in God’s sight; refusing to give up adultery. Over and over again, the Israelites are overrun by the Arameans. So, Jehoash goes to the ailing prophet (Elisha) and cries out in distress. And once again, God grants Israel success over the Arameans.
Why does God keep responding positively to people who keep disobeying Him and ignoring Him? In 2 Peter chapter 3, Peter says the reason God has not brought judgement already is that He’s being loving and patient. He’s giving everyone every opportunity to repent. His lack of exacting judgement is not a lack of justice. It’s a postponing of justice in hopes that people will respond to His love, grace, and mercy…rather than experiencing His judgement.
Where in our lives has God been patient and gracious with us when our actions and attitudes warranted more harsh treatment? Where have we gone our own way, then called out to God…and He rescued us, rather than punished us? Where in our lives has God been “too nice to us?”
Rather than be upset with God for giving the undeserving a second, third, or fourth chance, we need to be grateful for all the second, third, and fourth chances He has given us. (Nehemiah 9:17) – Bret Legg.