If you read the book of Lamentations you will feel the anguish over the state of things in Israel due to their disobedience. In fact, throughout the Old Testament you will often hear the Jews crying out to God: How long will you continue to forget us?
And often you will hear God’s reply: As long as it takes.
God doesn’t delight in punishing his people. He created us to fellowship with him, to love and obey him. And because he created us with the ability to choose or reject him, he drew a line in the sand. We call the condensed version of this line The Ten Commandments. There needs to be no guessing concerning the requirements for having a blessed relationship with him:
Worship me only. Love me above all else, Obey my instructions how to treat people, how to conduct business, what to believe. And for we who live after the cross: accept my Son as your Savior.
Sure it’s a tough list of rules. In fact, an impossible list to achieve for us humans. Yet God’s requirements don’t change. Here’s the line in the sand. Cross it and enjoy a forgiven life under grace. Stay where you are and accept the consequence.
Be assured. God won’t just let you stay on that side without doing everything he can to get you to come over to his side. You may even find yourself asking, “Why, God? How long are you going to cause me pain?”
AS LONG AS IT TAKES.