A Sermon on the Patience of God
Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power..
A. The patience of God
1. What is the patience of God?
Numbers 14:18 ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished….
God’s patience means God’s goodness in withholding of punishment toward those who sin over a period of time. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology
Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
2. Has God’s patience changed?
Exodus 31:14 “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people.
Numbers 15:32-36 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day. Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly, and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp. ” So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death…
Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and sapphira.
3. Prerequisite to understanding patience.
God's patience is the silence of His justice, and the first whisper of His mercy. Stephen Charnock, the Existence and attributes of God
Exodus 34:6-7 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished….
Contemplation only about the love of god precludes us from comprehending the patience of God. It is only in the context of the justice of God that we can fully understand his patience.Only when we realize what God could do will we appreciate his goodness in what he didn’t do.
B. Why is He patient?
1. In relation to believers
Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”
Jonah 3:4-6 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
Nah 3:1-4 Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims! 2 The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots! Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses ….
2. In relation to unbelievers
2 Peter 3:9, 15 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. … Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…
1 Peter 3:20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built….
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
3. In relation to God
Exhibition of Power. Isaiah 48:9 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to destroy you completely
power of control which God exercises over Himself, causing Him to bear with the wicked and forebear so long in punishing them. AW Pink
Nahum 1:3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.