Be Merciful to the Mean

 

James 5: 10-11 “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

The Lord has been speaking to me about his compassion and mercy.

God brought to my mind about Jesus saying that if anyone causes one of the little ones to stumble, he would be better of dead than having to be judged.  God’s compassion is on the merciful.  God’s mercy is on the compassionate.  Therefore, does God lack compassion for the merciless?  And does he lack mercy for the cruel?  In Romans 9, Paul remembers what God said to Moses about Pharaoh when he said “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  God lacked mercy and compassion for Pharaoh because Pharaoh lacked mercy and compassion for others.  Therefore, God was free to demonstrate his judgment on Pharaoh.

Wow…I never want to be made an example of by God–of what not to do (like Pharaoh)!  May we live the fruits of the Spirit and be found in the Lord’s compassion and mercy today!

Notice that Moses’ compassion towards Pharaoh was not intended to let him off the hook for defying God (and the opposite is true as well, he didn’t curse Pharaoh either…he left that up to God), he showed mercy and compassion to Pharaoh by continuing to warn him of God’s coming judgment.  Moses left room for God to decide how to handle Pharoah.

In our relationships we can remain unaffected by the emotional reactions, the overreactions, the hurtful words if we are able to see that God desires those who mistreat us to receive mercy.  When we love the unlovable with true care the way that God does–meaning that He wants them to be free from their sin and hatred,  then we will know that the sin that dwells within them is what is speaking to us and that we stand outside of their words.  We can be sheltered by the Lord and feel loved even though others say hurtful things and can respond in kindness when we are mistreated, IF we desire mercy for others and see the truth of what is really happening.

James 2:12-13 says “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged…For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

If you recall, Pharaoh found himself at the bottom of the Red Sea!  “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be thrown into the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

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