Presuming on God
by Jacob Hudgins
“Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”(Rom 2:3-4).
God is so dependable that we tend to take him for granted.
We sin, yet we look around and notice that the world does not stop and lightning does not strike us. Life continues much as it did before our sin, though we are the worse for it. Later we hear of the mind-boggling love of God, and the incorruptible blood of Christ. God will always have you back, we hear. And so God’s mercy is so dependable that we tend to take it for granted as well. Sometimes—though surely not always—this leads us to think that we can just live how we want, then ask for forgiveness later. We presume on God.
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”(Rom 2:4). While we all experience the “forbearance and patience” of God, we respond in different ways. We can presume on it, assuming God will forgive whenever we get around to it. Or we can respond with the fervor of conviction, thanking God desperately for sparing us until the time we could forever turn from our path.
This has real applications. Presuming on God means we put off dedicated service until some later, better time—when I get out of high school, or college, or when I get married, or when I have kids, or when my kids get out of the house, or when I retire, or when… Presuming on God means we viciously condemn sin in others while reassuring ourselves that our sins are less terrible by a few degrees. Presuming on God means making life decisions with the idea “I can always come back to God” in the back of our minds. Presuming on God means dealing with our sin is simply a procedural matter—repent, pray, and you’re all set!—instead of a deeply devastating violation of a holy God’s will.
God’s goodness is “meant to lead you to repentance”(Rom 2:4). This spirit makes no excuses, rules out no change as too radical, and will passionately pursue a different course, immediately. It will take God for granted no more, but earnestly obey him.
God is so dependable that we tend to take him for granted. Are you presuming on God?