In the 1993 movie 'Groundhog's Day', Bill Murray's character is forced to relive the same day over and over again until he can learn to give up his selfishness. This mind-numbing reality of going through the same motions and conversations and experiences day after day would drive any sane person to insanity. In fact, it is precisely this idea that drives Murray's character to change--because he couldn't stand doing the same things over and over infinitely never having a real 'life'.
As I have been teaching through the books of the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and now having just finished the book of Joshua at Revive, I am struck with the nearly unbelievable idea that God, who is eternal, has to deal with the SAME issues with EACH person--ALL the time. Not only has God had to deal with sinful people who act the same, speak the same, and think the same since He created the first one (Adam) in the garden of Eden, but He has to reteach each new generation the same things over and over and over and over and over and...well, you get the idea.
Looking at the history of people in their interaction with God, the Bible records that God has to patiently work with each new generation almost from scratch. Imagine that. It is not just one person who God must connect with, convict, convert, counsel, comfort, correct, and care for, but billions of people. Each person, their whole lives. Everyday (which it's always continually 'day' somewhere where people are awake doing something, so there is no 'break' for God).
So, right now God must manage trillions of decisions for the 6 billion people on earth at this moment. This is not to mention the billions of people who have already existed since the beginning of time. Meaning God as been 'reliving' the same issues and problems (and also joys and happiness) over and over and over for thousands of years for billions of people that have made trillions of decisions. Wow. That kind of patience for humanity is unreal. Beyond comprehension. This is an aspect of God I have never really considered until I started to see the sinful patterns of humanity played out on the pages of the Bible in a continuous, irritating and embarassing storyline.
I am amazed by God for many things. However this new appreciation for Him and His love for humanity to save and love and shepherd us is mind-blowing. We get mad when our child or spouse or dog won't listen after the second or third time, imagine trillions of times...
"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" Romans 2:4Wow. True. Thank God!
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9