We'll look at one of the characteristics of God and that is that He is longsuffering. We often look at other aspects of God, that He is loving and full of mercy. But, He is also a just, and jealous God.
Because God is a righteous God He is always going to do what is right.
Because God is a loving God, He sent His Son.
When we do something against God, when we deny Him, or sin against Him, He is a jealous God.
Despise all this, He does not take immediate action against us. He rather, is longsuffering with us.
God's longsuffering is not an emotion, but rater His restraint in bearing with us...
- 1 John 4:8
- 1 Corinthians 13:4
We'll look at several things about God's longsuffering. We'll define what it sis, we'll look at examples and we will look at his purpose.
The Definition of God's Longsuffering
God is holding back His anger. This word in the Old Testament is often translated as slow to anger.
- Exodus 34:6
- Joel 2:13
God is slow to anger, He is longsuffering. He puts up with our inadequacies for long time waiting patiently for us to repent.
- Romans 2:4
He could show His power, but He restrains His power. He puts up with us for a long time.
- Romans 9:22
Some Examples of God's Longsuffering
- 1 Peter 3:20
- 2 Peter 2:5
Understand that longsuffering is not endless tolerance. God does not desire for anyone to perish, but waits for us. Yet, He will not wait forever.
- 2 Peter 3:9
In the days of Noah, God saw the wickedness of man, yet He waited, and was longsuffering with them.
- Genesis 6:5-12
There sinful ways was an affront to God. He was grieved in His heart. He wanted to destroy all mankind. He was angry, upset, and saddened. They deserved punishment. But, God's grace, His longsuffering, shows that He saved Noah and his family.
- Genesis 6:8
God commands Noah to build an ark, verses 13, 14, but it took him 100 years to build the ark.
- 2 Peter 2:5
God was longsuffering with those people, and Noah preached to them to repent, but they did not. Yet, God gave them 100 years to return to Him.
During the time of Moses God waited with the people 40 years. And, in the time of the judges, God allowed them to cycle through sin and repentance again and again.
- Judges 10:11-16
God was patient and longsuffering with them. Yet, God sent a judge to lead them out of their period of oppression.
We see the time of the united Israel. They rejected God as their Sovereign, and requested a new, earthly, king.
- 1 Samuel 8:4-18
God was longsuffering and gave them a king, yet He warned them that this king would lead them away from Him. Time and time again, they proved they couldn't follow a man, and be faithful to God. Yet, God was longsuffering.
Some 120 years later, because of their inability to stay faithful, God split the nation apart into 2 kingdoms. The nation of Judah and the nation of Israel.
- Jeremiah 7:26
- Jeremiah 16:12
- 2 Chronicles 33:9
YET, God sent prophet after prophet to try to turn them back, God is longsuffering. Why? Because He loved His people.
He is longsuffering with us today.
The Purpose of God's Longsuffering
- Romans 6:23
- Romans 3:23
- 2 Peter 3:15
Through His longsuffering He gives us time to learn about His love and mercy. It's up to us to accept God's grace, because there will come a time when He will enact His righteous judgement.
The End of God's Longsuffering
In the days of Noah, God allowed them 100 years to respond to Noah's teaching.
- 1 Peter 3:20
- Hebrews 11:7
His longsuffering ended with the death of every living thing except what was found on the ark.
- Genesis 7:1-24
- 2 Kings 17:5-6,17,18
- Amos 4:12-13
God's longsuffering ended with the destruction of Israel. 116 years later the period of longsuffering ended for Judah also. Time and time again God's longsuffering toward the Hebrew people ended. And, God's longsuffering will at some time come to an end for this age as well.
- 2 Peter 3:4-8, 11-18
Scripture proclaims that God's longsuffering will come to an end. Time doesn't matter to God in the same way it matters to us. God will send His Son, to return, and the earth and all things will be destroyed.
Seeing that the Lord's longsuffering will end, how should we live our lives?
God's longsuffering is a delayed reaction. He exercises longsuffering, and has throughout history. HIs intention is the salvation of all mankind. But, the period will expire one day, as a thief in the night, without warning. We need to be prepared for that Great and Final Day.
The Lord is Longsuffering
- Acts 22:16
We are the Israel of God today, the church. His longsuffering will end and we have to prepare ourselves for that day. We can only prepare ourselves when we hear the Word of God, believe it, repent of our sins, and confess Jesus as the Son of God, and be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins.
Are you hoping to be prepared when that day of judgment comes? Contact us for further study of God's word to be sure you know how you can be secure in the safety of Christ's ark.