The exhausted new mother holds her infant son as the child’s nervous and proud father looks on. They are filled with joy and wild hopes for their newborn.
You would be awful to tell them in this moment, “Just so you know, that precious little guy there is going to grow up to give you all kinds of headaches and more than a few heartaches.”
The fifth book of the Bible, the last book of the Pentateuch, is Deuteronomy. It’s an elegant piece of writing—equal parts history, warning, challenge, and theology lesson.
In short, Deuteronomy is Moses’ final chance to impart wisdom, his last shot at reminding his forgetful people of eternal truths.
Near the end of his poignant words, Moses referred to “the God who gave you birth” (El Yalad). The Hebrew yalad means to birth, to calve—calling us to mind the joy of new life.
But the word also has pain associated with it. Just as human birth is a time of celebration in the midst of pain, so the miraculous birth of the Hebrew nation (through which God would bring salvation to the world) was set against a long backdrop of struggle and difficulty.
God gave birth to the human race knowing full well all the pain we would cause both Him and one another. He gave birth to Israel, despite knowing in advance His people would desert and forget Him.
God grants us spiritual life when we believe, making us His very children (John 1:12)—even though He knows we’ll be little hellions.
Why would the Almighty knowingly bring into existence offspring who are certain to break His heart? The answer, of course, is love—inexplicable, irrational divine love.
In the same way immature kids take parental love for granted, immature believers fail to appreciate God’s infinite affection.
But as we grow spiritually, as we taste grace, as our eyes are opened to the crazy love of the God who gave us birth, we’re changed.
When do you find yourself most inclined to forget God is your loving parent?