“Even when they (the Israelites) made a molded calf for themselves, and said, ‘This is your god that brought you up out of Egypt,’ and worked great provocations, yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness, the pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go. You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, and did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; They lacked nothing; Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.”
(Nehemiah 9:18)

As I pondered these words, I became overwhelmed with thoughts of the mercy of God. How easily His children let Him down – His ancient people as well as us. We blatantly disobey Him. We disappoint Him with our attitudes. We speak unkind words, think despicable thoughts or become selfish with the gifts He has given us.

Yet He remains faithful.

“Even when they made a molded calf for themselves, and said, ‘This is your god that brought you up out of Egypt…” Even THEN, the Lord did not forsake them in their wilderness. Unbelievable.

“His mercy is new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord our Father!”

I think we forget to consider the heart of God. We tend to keep Him distant, sitting on His royal throne surrounded by Cherubim. And certainly this image correctly represents the holiness and majesty of God.

But, we have learned that another aspect of the Lord’s character is that of our Heavenly Father. Imagine how hurt He must have felt when the Israelites made that calf and declared that IT was the god that delivered them from Egypt. That must have broken His heart. What about the times we asked Him for the impossible and He provided, only to find out that we were too busy to thank Him? Remember, the Bible clearly tells us that He experiences anger, jealousy, love. God is the creator of emotions. Obviously, He feels the things that we do.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t believe any of us would intentionally HURT the Lord. But, I don’t think we typically think of our behavior in these terms.

Am I correct? I think it is far too easy to think of God as intangible – as a concept or someTHING, rather than SOMEONE.

I think the first step in making change is becoming aware.

Ask the Lord to open your eyes that you might see.
Ask Him to open your heart to love Him more.

Lord, forgive us for taking You for granted, for not considering how our decisions impact You. You are not a God of distance, untouched by the human experience. You dwell within us. You love us as a Father – with hopes and dreams, expectations and boundaries. Help us in our quest to make You personal, to make You our all in all. Thank You, Lord.