“. . .but you would not.”
Oh how He loves us and longs to be with us.
That’s what God was saying to Israel through Isaiah’s words in today’s Manna. He is a “jealous God,” Who has said “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:3, 5b); however, He knew when He placed the two “trees of choices” in the middle of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9) that true love is never forced love.
It’s a willing love. A freely-given love.
And, consequently, a “grieving, agonizing love” when willfully refused or rejected.
That’s why the sight of the One hanging on the Tree should move us to absolute surrender—for, if it doesn’t, nothing else will (Rom. 2:4b).
Even now, if we listen, we can hear the mournful tone in God’s Voice as He said “. . .but you would not.”
“I called you to be My People when you were nobody. I chose you when I could have chosen someone else. I freed you from slavery and provided all of your needs in the wilderness as I led you to the land I’d promised to Abraham so long ago.”
“But, you would not.”
“Instead of rejoicing, you rebelled. Instead of receiving, you rejected. Instead of resting, you revolted” (Is. 30:16a).
“So, you sowed to the wind—but now you’re reaping the whirlwind (Hos. 8:7). Instead of ‘lying down in green pastures, beside the still water’ (Ps. 23:4), you shall be pursued by those who are swifter and stronger than you (Is. 30:16b-17).”
Such is always “the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23a).
There’s no doubt our God is holy and just and must punish sin. One Day the One with nail-scars in His Hands will stand as the Righteous Judge and say “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity; I never knew you” (Mt. 7:21-23; Rev. 20:15).
But, He’ll do so with tears in His eyes, not a gleam.
And, in His meting out the eternal sentence of separation these words will be spoken once again: “But you would not.”
Oh, dear Pilgrim, hardened hearts and willful hard-of-hearing always go together (Heb. 3:7-8). Just as “returning” always precedes “resting” (Is. 30:15a), so do “heart-hearing-and-heeding” precede “knowing Him and His Promised Rest” (Heb. 3:10-11).
Do you hear Him calling your name right now? There—on the wind in the trees—do you hear the Lord Jesus whispering, “Come unto Me” (Mt. 11:28-30)? If so, run into His outstretched Arms right now and rest. Let it never be said of you by Him “I wanted to enter your heart… but you would not. I wanted to give you My fullness of joy. . .but you would not. I wanted to bear your burdens. . .but you would not.” Trust Him today. Rest in Him.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 11, 2009