I believe in the longsuffering love and mercy of God. I also believe the time is soon upon us when God will announce, “Enough.”
One of the mysteries of the Bible that has intrigued me most develops right out of the gate in Genesis. By chapter 6, this cataclysmic event in God’s own story is recorded as follows:
5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD repented that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping animal, and the fowls of the air; for I repent that I have made them. Genesis 6:8*
God hit the wall.
Plainly, He could take no more. With a grieving heart from eyes that had previously viewed all that He had made and pronounced good, He now saw “…only evil continually.” This was not the atmosphere in which God could dwell for He who is Light does not dwell in darkness. There was no place to rest His repentant and grieving heart. Or was there?
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:8*
Here was a man whose very name Noah (in the Hebrew nuach) means rest; a place for God to dwell, stay, settle down, withdraw to, give comfort, be quiet, remain…
And as the story unfolds, with Noah and his family, God began again.
Let’s fast forward to the 21st century. The Genesis 6 description of what it was like in Noah’s day has a very familiar ring, does it not? Same song, second verse sung down through the ages, right to June 2012.
Mercifully, though man has not changed, God has not changed either. II Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Still He looks and longs for the hearts to which He can come and make His dwelling place, a place of rest, a place to settle down and remain.
Unless you live in a cave, it is not difficult to assess the precarious position of our world today. It’s nearly enough to make you want to go hide under a rock. But that clearly is not the solution given this passage in the final book of the epoch God-story, The Revelation of Jesus Christ:
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Revelation 6:15-17
No, before the world rotates its way toward God hitting the wall for the final time, He continues to search throughout the earth for more Noahs– indeed, entire Noah families – where He can come to rest His heart that grieves over the state of mankind.
You who have journeyed with me through many Wellspring of Life posts know this is a blog about the state of the heart of believers. To think that God desires my heart as His resting place ignites me in a fresh way…
We have heard sermons and read devotionals too numerous to count about resting our hearts in God; but how often have we been told that the repentant state of our heart literally hangs out a welcome sign to God that invites Him to come rest His heart in ours?
As our heavenly Father, He possesses to the utmost every attribute of a father’s heart. He feels deeply. He grieves over the condition of His creation. Even those who carry His Name but have not awakened to life as the royal offspring they really are, have the power to cut His heart to the quick.
Sometimes, God hits the wall. When He does, will He find in you and me a heart that is so identified with Him that He will know He has found a place where He can settle down and remain in rest?
That’s a provocative question we’ll explore further next time…
Finding grace in the eyes of the Lord,
*1833 Webster Bible