God is self-existent, he has always been and will always be. This is the foundational belief that we hold to be true and from this we understand our place and purpose. The only other option is to believe that matter has always been and somehow this matter came into being and had inherent power to change and create life. An impersonal substance somehow was able to create personal beings. If we hold this to be true there is no need for God and our lives can be lived by our own desires because we are free to act as we want. We are not accountable to anyone ,there is no moral code that we must submit to. Once we acknowledge that there is a God then we also must acknowledge that we are accountable to him. Our Creator is a kind and benevolent God who created human beings for his pleasure and to be the objects of his love. He is a good God and everything he does is based in his goodness. True life begins when we understand the first sentence of the Bible and place our lives under the rule of our Creator.
15Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
Leaders must be shepherds who have God’s heart for people. The leaders must know the condition of their followers, what their needs are, how they are doing and how he can help them. The leader must also care for his people by protecting and providing for them. The leader must know each of his people in a personal way. There has to be a human connection with the people a leader leads. Spending time with them and establishing a relationship with them is critical. Leaders must be knowledgeable and have understanding to strategically lead the people in the direction and to the goals God has for his people.
18“And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory.
Our life purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him throughout eternity. God’s glory will be known among all the nations. Every knee will bow before him in humility and adoration. Every nation, language and people group must be reached with the gospel message in order to bring worshipers to give glory and honor and praise to the one true God, the only wise God who has created us to dwell with him throughout eternity. One third of the seven billion people who live today do no know him. They must be reached and have the gospel message shared to set them free from the bondage of sin and experience the infinite love of God.
16But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.
The relationdhip of God as our father is identified throughout the Scriptures. As our father he takes delight in us and enjoys being with us. He provides for our needs, protects us from evil, rescues us from danger, instructs and counsels us, corrects and disciplines when we need it, sings over us, forgives us and always acts in love toward us. We can place complete confidence in him being assured that he never changes his character. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.”
God’s timing is always perfect. When Christ returns his kingdom will be established quickly. God at times moves quickly to accomplish his plans, he does things suddenly and perhaps unexpectantly. We have to be in sync with the Holy Spirit to flow with what he is doing rather than move too slowly and miss what he is desiring to do in us and through us. Some doors of opportunity are only open briefly and if we delay going through we miss out on the ministry God had planned at that moment.
11“Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?
Whatever we fear is what we will serve. Israel had lost its reverence for God and began to serve the gods of the heathen nations. God’s silence was meant to cause them to seek after him but they pursued other gods whom they feared more than Jehovah. God desires that we seek after him and if we do he will reveal himself to us. Living passionately for his presence has great rewards.
10Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Though Israel had miserably failed to keep God’s commands and was unfaithful to him, he promised to honor his covenant of unfailing love and compassion. This is the heart of God toward his people. How wonderful to know and be assured of his desire for us is never diminished by our behaviors. He is love and he will always love us in spite of our failures. He extends compassion to us and receives us with open arms when we turn to him. We can reject his love but we can never escape his love.
18If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.
God’s ways are higher and the best for us. When we go astray from his word we place ourselves in danger and are exposed to the enemy of our soul who desires to devour us and disqualify us from the ministry God has given us. We cannot plead ignorance of not knowing what God has given to us and commanded us to do. We choose to not listen and obey which brings the indictment of the words “if only.”