His Soul Was Grieved
10And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. 11And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 12The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. 13Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 14Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. 15And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seems good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. 16And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his (God’s) soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
This month (July, 2013) in Christianity Today there is a very good article about the difference views of God in the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament there is lots of evidence that the character of God was vindictive and punishing. It seems He was grumpy allot. But here is one of those gems where we see the real heart of the Lord. His people were making all the wrong choices and were getting the stuffing kicked out of them, and the people seemed like a “lost 3 year old” at Wal-Mart to him. And His Soul was grieved. Do you see the true heart and character of God?
There are just no good answers for the suffering and pain in this world. It remains a mystery. You would have to know as much as God knows to understand. However, it is enough for me to know that when you or I are suffering, God’s soul is grieved for our misery.
Something happened at the Cross, as God the Father watched God the Son suffer and die. The door of grace was opened for eternity. Grace flows like a river. It outruns the evil of this world. Grace outlasts the anger that we feel at people who hurt us. It pops out as it did with the Amish community who loved their enemy who brought such pain. Grace and love are the dominant themes of the New Testament. When we meet the Lord on the other side, grace and love is what we will meet, not the vindictive and punishing God of the OT. His soul is grieved and so He is pulling us to Him.