SOAP Journal – 25 April 2017 (Deuteronomy 4:31)

For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

Deuteronomy 4:31

In verses 25-30, Moses tells the Israelites that when they are faithless, God will remain faithful and will be ready to receive them back when they are ready to return to Him. Paul writes a very similar statement to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:13, saying If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. But there is more in what Moses says to the Israelites than God merely remaining faithful despite human faithlessness.

Moses states three things it in this verse that Paul does not address in 2 Timothy 2:13. Moses states that God is compassionate, that He will not fail, and that He will not … destroy.

God is compassionate. To be compassionate is to feel what another feels; to understand their feelings about something and to want to make that individual’s circumstances better. This does not excuse wrong thinking or bad decisions, it merely sees the hurt of another, recognizes it for what it is, and comes alongside to empathize and try to help. Compassion, therefore, is an outpouring of Love. And God is Love.

God will not fail. This is beyond merely being faithful. God will not just stay with me and make good on His promises, but God will follow through on His promises when every other individual’s promises have crumbled into nothing. When every promise of every person who loves me has fallen through, God will still make good His promises.

God will not … destroy. The verb used could mean spoil, ruin, destroy, pervert, or corrupt. God will do none of these things. Though the Israelites will make graven images in blatant violation of the Commandment. Though the Israelites will become thoroughly debauched. Moses assertion is that none of that will be God’s doing. The New Testament writers were still working believers through this issue, as James had to write that no one should says that God is tempting them when they encountered various temptations. James spells out the progression from walking with God to having fallen into sin pretty well. But the word in this verse can also mean that God will not ruin me. Maybe this has the connotation of financial ruin. I cannot be sure as I am no Hebrew scholar. It may be an all-encompassing idea of ruin and Moses is saying simply that God will not ruin the Israelites in any sense of the word.

The application for me is pretty one-to-one. God will be faithful to me and ready to receive me back even when I am faithless to Him. God will be compassionate to me and will not fail (even though I will) and will not destroy me in just about any way I can understand the term. My part in all of this is to live faithfully (as much as I am able) and to repent and come back to God when I fail.

Father, I know that I have failed and failed often. Thank You for being faithful despite my being faithless. Please bring me back to You and restore me to fellowship with You. Please teach me to live faithfully and to not be drawn away by the empty promises of the world’s false gods.

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