Mercy Cries

Has the pain of sorrow ever consumed your soul to the point you believe there can be no more tears left to cry? What experience brought you to that place? The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah experienced such pain of sorrow.

“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water

for the destruction of the daughter of my people.

Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without intermission,”

Lamentations 3:48,49.

The destruction of Jerusalem caused his pain. He had warned the people time and again with no avail. In fact, his people turned against him. They would not listen. Now the destruction had come. But why?

  • “for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy…
  • Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed.” Lamentations 1:5,8.

Jeremiah was not the only one to weep over Jerusalem. Jesus entered Jerusalem for His final Passover Celebration on a donkey. The people cried out,

“BLESSED BE THE KING THAT COMETH IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest…and when he was come near,

he beheld the city, and wept over it,

Saying, If thou hadst known,

even thou, at least in this thy day,

the things which belong unto thy peace!

But now they are hid from thine eyes.

  • For the days shall come upon thee,
  • that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
  • And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee;
  • and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another;
  • because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke 19:38,41-44.

Why did Jesus cry? ; “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”

John 1:11

“But though he had done so many miracles before them,

yet they believed not on him:”

John 12:37.

Jesus prepared his disciples for the rejection to come.

“Saying,

The Son of man must suffer many things,

and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes,

and be slain and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22…

“The Jews answered him[Pilate],

We have a law, and by our law he ought to die,

because he made himself the Son of God…

they cried out,

Away with him, away with him,

crucify him.

Pilate saith unto them,

Shall I crucify your King?

The chief priest answered,

We have no king but Caesar.”

John 19:7,15

Jesus cried because the people chose sin and death instead of righteousness and life. They missed the way of life before them. He knew the wages of their sin.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,

thou that killest the prophets, and

stonest them which are sent unto thee,

how often would I have gathered thy children together,

even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,

and ye would not!

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”

Matthew 23:37-38

Jeremiah and Jesus shared an agony over the people’s disbelief. Jeremiah reminds us there is another way, a way of faith. Where faith is mixed with the mercy of God, hope lives.

  • “This I recall to my mind,
  • therefore have I hope.
  • It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed,
  • because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning:
  • great is thy faithfulness.
  • The LORD is my portion, saith my soul;
  • therefore will I hope in him.” Lamentations 3:21-24.

The Lord’s mercy did not leave Israel without hope nor has His mercy left us without hope. For He is faithful to perform all His word.

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;

for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

and hath raised up an horn of salvation

for us in the house of his servant David;

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,

which have been since the world began:

That we should be saved from our enemies,

and from the had of all that hate us;

to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,

and to remember his holy covenant:

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham…”

Luke 1:68-73.

Israel’s hope is our hope. The oath God swore to Abraham includes the Gentiles, us, the non-Jewish world. Their hope is our hope. From before time began God’s plan included all, to give us all His mercy and hope.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,

saith the LORD,

thoughts of peace, and not of evil,

to give you an expected end”[hope].

Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I would not brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

And so all Israel shall be saved…

For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

For as ye[Gentiles] in times past have not believed God,

yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Even so have these also now not believed,

that through your mercy

they also may obtain mercy.

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief,

that he might have mercy upon all.”

(Taken from Romans 11:25-32.)

Jesus Christ is God’s mercy in action. His mercy is our hope.

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour

toward man appeared,

Not by works of righteousness which we have done,

but according to his mercy he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Which he shed on us abundantly

through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

that being justified by his grace,

we should be made heirs

according to the hope of eternal life.”

Titus 3:4-7.

Our Savior cried for those who would live their days without receiving the mercy He brought. They chose to live in false hope rather than receive true hope. He cried for those who would make His sacrifice, His death on the cross worthless. He cried for there is no need for the perishing to perish. His mercy continues to cry.

I wonder, do we have such a love for the lost, the dying? Who are our tears for?

Heroes, Villains and Your Heart

“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go…Then the officers of the children of Israel…met Moses and Aaron…and they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.” (Ex. 5:2,21).water-kitchen-black-design.jpg

The antagonists in Exodus are like a dripping faucet that will not quit, but what is a good story without at least one antagonist?  Without a villain, no hero arrives to save the day. Many would tag Moses as the hero of Exodus and Pharaoh as the villain. I believe Moses is the instrument of the real Hero, as Pharaoh is the instrument of the real villain. Another antagonist in Exodus is the product of our flesh as seen in the people of Israel as they continually desired to return to Egypt.

Unlike Moses who, “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” They lost sight of the reward for the temporary comforts of the world, including bondage under a hard hearted Pharaoh, who opposed God at every turn.

The LORD God revealed himself to Pharaoh through the words of Moses.  “And the LORD said unto Moses…do all these wonders before Pharaoh…but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go…say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn…Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Ex. 4:21-23.

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Why did the LORD God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Did God leave Pharaoh without opportunity for repentance?

First, the word Pharaoh received he did not believe. This was his first opportunity to turn from his wickedness, his rebellion.

“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice…”

With that statement judgment began.

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments…Ex. 6:6;

Four hundred years of slavery, bondage, murder and oppression of God’s children ended the time of turning for Egypt. Satan had worked through the Pharaohs attempting to destroy the promised seed of Abraham, who would bless all nations. If he destroyed Israel, he destroyed the seed. But God does not forget his covenant. Pharaoh would see the power of the LORD in the judgments to come.

Each plague the Lord put upon Egypt evidenced the power of God before Pharaoh. Each time Pharaoh had a choice but each time the choice became easier and easier to be rebellion. He would not bow to the Hebrew God.

“And the LORD said unto Moses…stand before Pharaoh, and say…Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth…thou shalt be cut off from the earth…for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?” Ex. 9:13-17.

Those who believed the word of the Lord were spared. But when Pharaoh saw the thunders and hail end, “…he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened…”

The end of Pharaoh’s hardened heart would be destruction. Sin had done its work and would have its wages. “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” Prov. 29:1.

Pharaoh’s kingdom was not unlike the coming kingdom of the beast in the end times. “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” Rev. 16:10,11.

Many things of God we don’t fully understand. Let’s cling to what we do know. “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.” Rom. 2:2. Judgment comes after opportunities are rejected.

God could not be holy if He did not judge sin. And His final judgment came in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Receive Christ’s judgment as your own or receive judgment on your self.

“…we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him…TODAY IF YE WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS.”( 2Cor. 5:20-21;Heb. 4:7)

You have heard the word. Will you receive or reject it? Guard your heart.

 

 

 

King of Glory, The Sequel

blogcrown-2661334__340Yesterday the challenge to be among, “…the generation of them that seek him…” went out. Consider today, if you are among those who seek the King of Glory, what you will find?  The Hebrew word, kabod, used for glory, also carries the meaning of weight, honor, esteem, majesty, abundance, wealth. Society’s hunger for abundance and wealth caused me to look at King of Glory as the King of Abundance. Abundance of what, you ask?

“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Ps. 136:1.

“…for he is good…” Good is also translated kindness.Or despises thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance…O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ JesusPraise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared…according to his mercy he saved us…which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according  to the hope of eternal life…The voice of joy…shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever…” (Rom. 2:4; 1Chron. 16;34; Eph. 2:7; Ps. 106:1; Titus 3:4-7; Jere. 33;11).

The abundant goodness of God reveals His character in the kindness of His actions toward us and is an extension of His rich mercy.

“…for his mercy endureth for ever…”  

“Who remembered us in our low estate…Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE…NONE THAT DOETH GOOD…THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES…For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…sin entered the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”(Ps. 136:23; Rom. 3:9-23).

“…And hath redeemed us from our enemies…”…ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…from your vain conversation…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1Pet. 1:18-21).

“…Who giveth food to all flesh…” “The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand and satisfies the desire of every living thing…The LORD is nigh unto … all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.(Ps. 145:15-19; Matt. 6:32, 33).

And when you find your self caught in a web of sorrow and trials, when temptation questions the truth of the King of Abundant Goodness and Mercy asking, “Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Answer as Asaph did in Psalm 77. “…This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will mediate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary. who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders…” Ps. 77: 8-14.

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Give thanks to the King of abundant goodness and mercy…He endures forever and “…takes pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” Ps.147:11.  He, “…is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph. 3:20. Seek the King of Glory. He will be found.