I was reading today in Genesis which brought me to a scripture that had stunned and stopped me before. Today, again, I stopped and just starred... reading it again and again... because I was once the "they" that was talked about in the words I read. Gen 14:4 tells us that, "For twelve years they had been subject to...., but in the thirteenth year they rebelled."
The KJV says, For "twelve years they served..."
Sadly, I understand the statement. I've been the subjected one in the verse! I've worn the shoes, worn the t-shirt, and was shackled under the rule of my king (my god, my idol) that I served for twelve stinking years myself!
What keeps us locked up for so long? Why do we stay under such bondage? Why do we settle enslaved to our enemy? Why do we let evil rob us of years of our lives? Why keep serving, submitting, staying subjected to, sacrificing to something so stupid? Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give Life. Why do we often chose to live in the "came" of our enemy instead of our Savior's?
Don't you sometimes just love the "but"s in life... especially in Bible stories and real lives lived when God intervenes! I may have stupidly and foolishly and repulsively served and stayed subjected to something for twelve years.... BUT!!! Finally "in the thirteenth year", I rebelled! How I love God for never giving up! For never forsaking those who forsake Him! For His enduring love, despite our rebellion! For that enduring love of His, that never fails!
For "neither death nor life neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:37-39). Sometimes I wonder how He can stand us? But then again, it's because of us that Jesus came to overcome all of the trouble that we can get into in the first place! It's His whole purpose! It's WHY He came!
I love that about Him! That He died for us while we were still in our sin, while we persecuted and mocked Him, and refused the salvation that He came to give. I love that He forgives and washes our sin as white as snow, removes it as far as the east is from the west, throws it into the deepest part of the sea... and that He remembers our sins no more..... and yet, redeems our very sin to use as our witness of Him and all His done and our testimony and ministry!
Perhaps there's is a couple of "but God"s that I should close this post with... for Satan may have meant to use my past against me, but God works everything out for good for those that love Him (Rom 8:28) and here's a "but God" that I can live in: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Gen 50:20).
"Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" (Ps 66:16-20).
"No man can redeem the life of another... BUT GOD will redeem my life from the grave; He will surely take me to Himself..." (Ps 49:7a,15).
He can and He does and He will and He has! Thankfully there is no thing our God can't or is unwilling to redeem!
I love my Lord and all of His "but God"s!