When God Does Not Meet Your Expectations
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob's brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” — Malachi 1:2-3
So if we read this scripture in context from the perspective of a son, then I think we might have a curious view of the question Israel posed to God. Because there is an intended inflection in this question that is a little testy. This would infer that God knew that many of his people felt abandoned in their present situation.
But let's not forget there is a Father on the side of this relationship. A Father with a much larger perspective on the situation. And while the only thing the son saw was hate, all the Father sees is love through a lens of discipline.
I think most loving fathers who have to discipline their children know this experience. They understand that discipline to a child lasts an eternity, so all they see is the pain of the moment, not the love and training in the discipline. So they feel justified by their bitterness. But often, this is because they fail to see that Father has a much longer view on the discipline. The case in point is Esau. Esau is one of the two sons of Isaac. And about 1200 years earlier, God promised that he would destroy Esau's land. And eventually, he did during their time. And the people of God knew it. Thus God illustrates that he is loving and makes good on his promises. The problem is that we don't have a long view like God. Therefore, it appears God is not loving because he's not doing it the way we want.
So when you grow bitter at God about some situation in your life, instead of expecting him to change, maybe it's time to change your expectations. Keep in mind the Father has a much longer view than you do of this life. Keep in mind you don't want to be on the wrong side of one of his promises just because you don't like the pain of the present moment. And also keep in mind, he is willing to listen and will respond if we just bring our concerns to him.
ASK THIS: Are there any unfair expectations you have about God right now?
DO THIS: Confess them and ask God to clarify, he will give you answers.
PRAY THIS: God, I lay all my expectations down before you.
PLAY THIS: Lay It Down.
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