Sep 22, 2022 18:30pm
Confusing Patience With Approval

My son, Hunter, trains puppies. He begins with small things like name recognition and getting comfortable with a lead. He progresses them to basic commands, crate training, and more specific things that the families they are going to do for fun, such as riding in UTVs or kayaks.

I’ve watched him several times, and I’ve commented to him how much I admire his patience with them. They are puppies. They are just learning authority and commands. He is loving and patient with each one. However, we cannot mistake his patience for approval.

How would that benefit the puppy? If he continued to allow this misbehavior or complete disregard, no training would take place. The dog would be unruly and do as it pleased. While that seems fun, if he never learned what was right and wrong, he could do something that would harm him or others.

Joshua is now old, well advanced in his years, and his time on earth is coming to an end. He addresses the leaders he will leave behind.

“Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God. Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you. When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.” (Joshua 23:12-16)

Joshua reminds the people that the Lord has made good on all His promises. He has fulfilled all He said He would do because He loves the Israelites and He is patient with them. But Joshua warns them not to “mistake God’s patience with approval”.

Sometimes the Lord does not intervene immediately when we sin. Perhaps, He is giving us a chance to repent and turn back to Him. He is patiently waiting for us to confess our sin and turn away from it, choosing His way over our own. But just because He may seem or feel silent, does not mean He approves of our sin.

It’s time to search our hearts. Will you?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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