Grocery store aisle. Candy. Mother says no, child whines. Mother repeats her response. Child turns red in face and wails. Mother picks up child to put him in the cart, he arches his body back and stiffens like a board, all the while screaming at the top of his lungs, “I hate you. I want a new mommy.”
Do you have a stubborn and strong willed child? You have tried everything to get the child to obey. God bless you. You have an idea of how God felt about the children of Israel.
He told them what not to do and they did it anyway. So he took away their play things and gave them chores. (Adam and Eve)
He brought them to a wonderful place (Abraham), but they became self centered and wanted more. They mistreated their brother. (Joseph). So God took them and placed them in a very strict environment where they had to do as they were told or be punished. (Egypt).
When they whined and whined, He came to lead them home. On the way, He gave them clothes that wouldn’t wear out, food every morning and water. He protected them from the blazing sun with a cloud and gave them warmth and a protective fire at night. They whined that they wanted what they had before. (Hebrews in Wilderness).
They pleaded for what they wanted, said they would obey. But they didn’t. They did what they wanted. (David, Solomon and the corrupt kings). So he dragged them away and made them sit in a corner. (Exile into Babylon)
Once they returned, they behaved for a while. Then, they made up their own rules and refused to back down, so he sent in the mean babysitter . (Roman Empire)
Finally, God realized the only way to change these stubborn, strong willed people was from the inside out. So He came down, loved them, and tried by example to show them how to act. He listened to them whine and grumble, let them kick and push him, and scream that He was not who they wanted and they didn’t want to obey.
Then, He died to take on and defeat their stubborn ways, and did the only thing God can do – send His Holy Spirit to dwell in their hearts and change them slowly from the inside out.
Each of us is God’s strong willed and stubborn child. Yet we are each wonderfully made. Will you let Him into your soul to change you from the inside out? Or, like the child in the grocery store, will you scream that you want another god who will give you everything you want and act more like a heavenly Santa Claus?