Beloved, I’d like to begin today’s message with a pop quiz. We have been around our Father for some time now. And even for those of us who have never known Him personally, we have some idea of who we think He is. He has been around since the beginning of time and has, unsurprisingly, built quite a reputation for Himself. So, let’s see just how well you know the love of God.

Question 1.

What would God do to a people whom He describes thus?

“Hear this, O house of Jacob,
Who are called by the name of Israel,
And have come forth from the wellsprings of Judah;
Who swear by the name of the Lord,
And make mention of the God of Israel,
But not in truth or in righteousness;” Isaiah 48:1

A. Smite them.
B. Ignore them.
C. Hand them over to the devil.
D. Save them and be gracious to them.

Here’s a clue for you. Jesus said,

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Matthew 7:21-23

So what do you think God will do?

Question 2.

What do you think God will do to a people whom He describes thus?

“Because I knew that you were obstinate,
And your neck was an iron sinew,
And your brow bronze,” Isaiah 48:4

A. Smite them.
B. Ignore them.
C. Hand them over to the devil.
D. Save them and be gracious to them.

Here’s a clue for you.

“And the Lord said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”” Exodus 32:7-10

So what do you think God will do?

Question 3.

What do you think God will do to a people whom He describes thus?

“Surely you did not hear,
Surely you did not know;
Surely from long ago your ear was not opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
And were called a transgressor from the womb.” Isaiah 48:8

A. Smite them.
B. Ignore them.
C. Hand them over to the devil.
D. Save them and be gracious to them.

Do remember that the last time God saw wickedness in man, this happened.

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”” Genesis 6:5-7

So what do you think God will do?

Well, beloved, if your answer to any of the questions was anything other than D, then you don’t really understand the love of our Father, for this is what our Father would really do.

“For My name’s sake I will defer My anger,
And for My praise I will restrain it from you,
So that I do not cut you off.” Isaiah 48:9

Our Father will not smite us. He will not hand us over. In fact, He restrains His anger from us. But why? Didn’t He smite the others?

Well, yes He did. And that is because they were not His, they did not believe, they did not regard them as their God and they surely did not realize that He wanted to love them as a Father. So they rejected His love and His care. But for us, for us who believe, for us who have entrusted our lives to Him, our forays into areas we should not go, our little slips along the way, while I can’t imagine that it would please Him at all, they do not change our status as His beloved children any more than the naughty antics of your mischievous child will make him any less your child and stop you from loving him. You see beloved,

“The Lord knows those who are His” 2 Timothy 2:19

And for us who believe, we are His. Because we have responded to His call, because there was that once where we sincerely said that we believed that He loved us, our Father says of us,

“All of you, assemble yourselves, and hear!
Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
He shall do His pleasure on Babylon,
And His arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
I, even I, have spoken;
Yes, I have called him,
I have brought him, and his way will prosper.” Isaiah 48:14-15

Because this is who our Father is for us.

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17

When we run away from our Father, when we choose to hide ourselves from His presence, we do ourselves a disfavor. Because look, He Himself said that even if we mess up, even if we stray, even if we occasionally get led to think bad thoughts of Him and become stubborn, He still loves us. In fact,

“Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me.” Isaiah 48:18-19

“And they did not thirst
When He led them through the deserts;
He caused the waters to flow from the rock for them;
He also split the rock, and the waters gushed out.” Isaiah 48:21

Because you are His, He is for you. Because you are His, His love is unchanging towards you. Because you are His, you can rely on Him for your protection and provision. So stop running away. Though you have sinned, though your life is not perfect, you have never stopped being His beloved child and He is not against you. Stop allowing the devil to fool you into think that our Father will smite you for each and every wrong thing you do, because the truth is far from. He loves you and that is the right answer to every pop quiz you get about Him.

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