Prayer for the day
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds! And blessed be his glorious Name for ever! and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
Scripture for the day
“…my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” Paul’s words exemplify his desire and care for his people. His desire for them is that they may be saved. Paul recognized God’s deep and abiding love for his people, but also that that deep and abiding love is not necessarily a forcing love, a love that will MAKE the Israelites love him.
God’s love will not force itself on the people of Israel. god will bless, God will chastise, God will even discipline, but at the end, the choice to remain as the people of God will rest in the hands of the Israelites.
The people of Israel, said Paul, had zeal for God, but not knowledge. Instead of understanding the righteousness of God in Christ, Paul’s people, the Israelites, had tried to set up their own understanding of righteousness. God’s desire was to draw them to himself through the life and death of Jesus.
Not that God hadn’t tried to woo them before.
The Psalmist speaks of the desire of God to have a close relationship with his people, and of the various efforts God made to that end. Not only did God desire to woo his people, God did amazing things to make it possible. God blessed them, God disciplined them, God even sent some of them to their death in order that they would know his might and care at the same time. God’s power was on display for the people of Israel, his love, his care, and his concern, all to the end that God would be their God and they would be His People.
He still cares. He still loves. He still desires. Today, soften your heart to him.