A Clay Jar

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The Intersection between God’s Will and Our Will

Matthew 23:37

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“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it!

Matthew 23:37 NET

This verse speaks to the intersection between God’s sovereign will and human free will. God is pictured here as a hen, spreading her wings to shelter and protect her chicks. And the people of Israel are the chicks. Chicks who, throughout their history, had not been interested in finding shelter under God’s outstretched wings.

There is a longing expressed here on God’s part. He greatly desired his children–he longed to gather them together. Throughout their history, God had spoken to Israel, urging them to come to him, to find shelter under his wings. He had delivered them from Egypt, entered into a covenant with them, brought them into the promised land, and sent prophets to draw them to him. It was his will that they come to him.

While there were times when Israel would rush under God’s wings for protection, those times were few and brief. By and large, Israel refused God’s entreaties to them, going their own way instead. They were unwilling to submit to God’s will—they would have none of it.

God did not force Israel to submit to his will–gathering as chicks under their mother’s wings. God longed for them but allowed them to reject his will for them. A rejection that cost them dearly.

God, in his sovereignty, does not force obedience on our part. There is room in the sovereignty of God for us to act in ways that are contrary to his will for our individual lives, even rejecting him as Lord. But there is a price to be paid when we do.

How much better to submit to God’s will now and live than to go our own way and face eternal destruction!

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

2 thoughts on “The Intersection between God’s Will and Our Will – Matthew 23:37”

  1. So good. You are right, there is always a price to pay for not submitting to His will. His will for us is always best.


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