Even in the Old Testament the wrath of God is not the last word. In chapter 30 we hear the compassion of God for those who repent of their ways. Thank God! The Spanish way to say, Thank God, which is ¡Gracias a Dios! sounds much more gracious and heartfelt to me. So you may hear me saying this more and more. God keeps his side of the Covenant over and over again. May we not take for granted God’s mercy, but may we count on it in our failures. I love the lines of Deut. 30:11-14, “For this command which I am giving you today is not too wondrous or remote for you. It is not in the heavens that you should say, ‘Who will go up to the heavens to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may do it?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may do it?’ No, it is something very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.” It is ours to live or die. God is for us. Choose life!
First Peter was a book written in time. Now we know that no one is a slave to another human being. Yes, we all are to follow in the footsteps of Christ, meaning we will endure pain and hardship if we remain true to Christ. But that is our choice to make or not. No one makes it for me. We do faithfully remember, 1 Pet. 2:24b-25, “. . . By his wounds you have been healed. For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”