Ask the casual Bible student about what they think about the God of the Old Testament and they'll probably reply that He is seemingly much more angry and wrath-filled than His New Testament portrayal. While there are a lot of reasons for this different portrayal, like the time frame of the writing, the audience, and the genre of writing to name a few, it's important to note that the God of the Old Testament is often referred to as a God who is kind, loving, and patient (Ex. 34:5-7; Neh. 9:17; 2 Chron. 30:8-9).
The ten plagues of Egypt serve as an example of Gods patience. Each plague is a gradual escalation showing God's power to a very stubborn Pharaoh eventually culminating in the loss of the firstborn child of every non-Israelite in Egypt (Ex. 11:1-10). It can be tempting to look at this plague and think that God's punishment does not fit Pharaoh's crime. In reality, God has been patient with Pharaoh, giving him multiple opportunities to let His people go, only for Pharaoh to continually refuse. God eventually runs out of patience and is pushed to the point where He has to do something truly devastating to Pharaoh so that he will allow the Israelites to exit Egypt.
Pharaoh learned the hard way that God is patient, but His patience eventually wears out.
For Pharaoh it was the stubborn refusal to allow Egypt to leave that pushed God to the edge of His patience. For us, it may be the continual embrace of a sin we've yet to let go of or the refusal to allow God to work in our lives the way He wants to. Like He was with Pharaoh, God will be patient with us, but He will not wait for us forever. Don't let God's patience run out with you, but instead choose to follow down the path He is leading you.
What are some other examples of God's patience we read about throughout the Bible? What are some other examples of God's patience running out?
Pharaoh's fatal flaw was his obstinate heart. Pray today asking God that you would have a heart that is soft and receptive to the will of God.
The "Five Minutes with God" articles serve as expansions on the daily Bible study book by the same name. To follow along in this study with us, buy your own copy of the book here or pick up a free copy at the Mannford Church of Christ.