Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Spirit Will Not Contend with Humans Forever

Just a couple more weeks until our Yosemite Half Dome hike! Not to mention, with next Monday, June 2, comes summer session at my school. It is also the final week of the kids' school year. My hope is that the Early Education class I am going to start soon is not so intense I will not get to enjoy my summer! I am already having a hard time finding motivation --- I really do need to deep clean the house --- but I feel that is largely due to allergy season and I am hopeful I will feel more energetic once it is over.

The Army Kid is "home" for a very brief visit before heading to the first duty station. I have found first hand the army definitely changes people. I perceive the Army Kid to be calmer, not so restless or irritable. Perhaps more mindful of thoughts and emotions, like a Jedi. (Can you read in my tone I am smiling.) Any hint of a rebellious teenager seemingly gone and there appears to be a peace.

Then the Lord said, "My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3 NIV)

This piece of scripture really stood out to me and has stayed with me since worship service this weekend. It is important to me that I understand it correctly so I looked up some cross references:
After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, (1 Peter 3:19, 20 NIV)

For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. (Nehemiah 9:30 NIV)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16, 17 NIV)
Further, I looked up the passage in my study bible. It states,
[Genesis] 6:1-4 The account that follows records an act of degradation that reveals the end-point of God's patience. (MacArthur, John. THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE. 1997. Pg 24.)

So, God will not "strive with" unbelieving human beings forever. He will draw the line and then that will be it. This brings me peace but let me explain. It is not a comfort in knowing there are some that will never be saved. That actually makes me feel sad. It is a relief to know that even God has His limits. Over the course of my vapor of a life, I have mourned the relationships that just did not work out (with unbelievers). Despite my very best efforts, there were some (and I am certain there will be more) that were hurtful, wicked, heartbreaking, unhealthy, full of deceit, dishonorable, etc. I always told myself, "You must keep trying." But I have to be honest, it is a blessing to have the knowledge that even God has an "end-point" when it comes to His patience. Thank you, Lord, for this piece of wisdom and peace of mind!
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