all day long

Read Romans 10:16-21.

Here are six verses loaded with five Old Testament quotations, but it’s the last one, a quotation from Isaiah 65:2, that is most telling:

“All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (vs.21)

God is portrayed as having two qualities toward his people: he is passionate for them and persistent in his compassion. God’s people are depicted as being known for two things in their relationship with God: they are rebellious and unyielding in resistance.

I must not write this observation off as something only true for Israel long ago or applicable only to others. This is a bit of commentary about all of us. All too often we are bullheaded and will not be broken for God. All too often I am doggedly defiant of his grasp on all of me.

Yet we dare not write off the other half of this observation, the portion that deals with what God is like toward us. We can’t dismiss these words as something no longer true of him or true only in terms of his dealings with others. Being the same yesterday, today and forever, and having loved the world so as he does, I must see him for who he truly is, the God who holds out his hands to me, ever imploring me to come to him, and enter into his care and guidance.

Why would I resist him? How can I? How long, O Lord, how long?

Heavenly Father, you hold your hands to me through the work of Christ, the one stretched out on the cross for me. Forgive me of my obstinate ways, I pray. As surely as your heart aches for me, may my spirit turn to you wholly and be broken entirely for you. Strengthen my arms to daily reach out to you and enjoy the warmth of your embrace. Amen.

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