Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mercy and Justice

"We all are hypocrites, We all want to recive mercy [from God] and give justice." - Mark Driscoll

I was stricken by the truth of this statement. When I sin, I only want God to deal with me via his loving kindness and mercy, but when someone sins against me - I am ready with the imprecatory Psalms on standby. I virtually scream out, "God Get them, Show your wrath and avenge me."

As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry its, no more to rise! (Psalms 140:9-10 ESV)
Yet I think that this is something that needs to be rehashed within myself, I need to have my spirit filled with compassion for the sin of others against me. I am actually reminded of a sermon preached by T.J. Southard at Mountain View Christian Church on forbearance. He was preaching from the text Mark 1:40-45.

And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.(Mark 1:40-45 ESV)

The point that T.J. Made was that Jesus healed this Guy who came to him and basically asked for healing; Who if he was healed of his skin disease could get his life back. Jesus Healed him with the quasi condition of "See that you say nothing to anyone." Jesus basically says don't tell people that I healed you. But the Guy doesn't obey, instead he goes and tells people, and Jesus could "no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places." Jesus had to stay out of populated places because of this guy. If I was Jesus, I think I would have removed the healing from the guy. He didn't keep his part. Jesus could have rightly removed this man's healing, taken away his life and possibly family, but He didn't.

I think that is the attitude that I need to have. I think that is the attitude that we all need to have, after all we shouldn't be paying back those who mistreat us with anger, we should be praying that God effects them, changes them. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing (1 Peter 3:9 ESV). We are called to forgive, not be vengeful because vengeance belongs to God alone (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19).

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