And He entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when He had looked around at everything, as it was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11)
I love this verse. It tells us what Jesus did immediately after He rode that donkey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It was late. Jesus had plans for the temple—plans to clear out the merchants with a whip!—but tonight, no. He would take time.
That's pretty typical of God's character, isn't it? He sees something that needs changing—maybe wickedness, violence, the idolatry the Israelites were forever falling into; maybe a major area of sin in my life or yours. But He doesn't lose His cool and start throwing lightning bolts. He takes time. He thinks. And He even allows time for repentance—one last chance to get it right, before He makes it right by His own power.
I am glad that God doesn't lose control—that when He does judge, He does it with love, planning the best possible outcome for everybody involved. As the writer of Hebrews puts it, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11). And God plans for the worst of it to fall on Himself rather than on us—at Jesus' own whipping, and when He suffered at the cross. His love and patience is our blessing.
THE PRAYER: Lord, thank You for Your care for me, even when I need correction. Amen.
* Do you know anybody who flies off the handle? How does that make you feel?
* If you must discipline a child or subordinate person, how much do you think about it?
* Is there a time when God disciplined you and you benefited from it later?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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