“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:7).

Mercy has always been a rare commodity. Sinners, being selfish, have always tended more toward justice. But, justice without mercy is not justice; it is tyranny and abuse.“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24), required Jesus. He was quoting from the Messianic prophecy of Himself.

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears:
But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa. 11:1-5).

When Jesus called Israel to judge righteously, He was reproving the Jewish people and leadership alike, because they had all departed from the original love-based Hebrew religion, and had adopted the hard-heartedness of the pagan nations. The root of bitterness that Satan had inculcated into the souls of the heathen, he had now put into God’s people. This came as a result of their playing around with pagan spiritualism for so long before their Babylonian captivity. Then, after living in the very center of darkness, they would forever be burdened down with the harsh, exacting, judgmental attributes of their new master. This is described in the prophecy from Isaiah 7.

“It shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes…. And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.” (Isa. 7:18,19,23).

The land of Israel and its people would be overtaken by spiritualism, as the series of 4 pagan empires left the horrid merciless mark of Satan on their hearts and minds. His abrasive and caustic character became theirs. Nothing but briers and thorns came from their mouths. Their hardened hearts were filled with gall and wormwood.

“For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them;… And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee.” (Eze. 2:4,6). And,“that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” (Heb. 6:8).

Jesus came with the power of His Father’s Spirit to correct this hard-heartedness, this caustic and thorny characteristic in His people. He reflected back to them what they couldn’t see in themselves. To the thorniest of their best brier bushes Jesus said, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” (Acts 9:5). Throughout the Old Testament, He had ever done the same.

“With the merciful Thou wilt shew Thyself merciful; with an upright man Thou wilt shew Thyself upright; with the pure Thou wilt shew Thyself pure; and with the froward Thou wilt shew Thyself froward.” (Ps. 18:25,26).

“Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:43). He would free His downtrodden servants and turn the tables on their adversaries.

He came to reestablish the law of kindness to His holy nation. While He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity, and uttered His scathing rebukes, He was always aware of everyone whose faith would fail if His powerful reproofs were directed at them.

Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His intercourse with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. Steps to Christ, p. 12.

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.” (Isa. 57:15,16). “Let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me.” (Jer. 9:24).

He would challenge their faith and loyalty to His Father, but He would never overstep His exercise of “judgment, and righteousness, in the earth” (Jer. 9:24). Rather, “lovingkindness” would remain the keynote of His ministry, for in all these “I delight, saith the LORD.”

Eve, with all of her daughters, “openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Prov. 31:26). All the women, who let Jesus develop in their hearts the law of merciful-kindness, testified of Him and of His work to serve and comfort His fallen race (see John 5:39). Jesus came to humble His people, and then re-establish His Father’s mercy and truth.

“Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” (Ecc. 10:17). While never moving a pin of the high standard for the strong in faith and their duty of upholding the Law, Jesus allowed for mercy upon the weak and needy. With Him there was a balm in Gilead. Though Jesus would not even taste of the intoxicant offered Him on the cross (Matt. 27:48-50; Mark 15:36,37; John 19:29,30; Matt. 26: 29), He allowed for others weaker in faith to get a taste of relief, if they were suffering, until He could relieve them with the water of life of the Spirit of God, which would satisfy and heal their every trouble.

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Prov. 31:4-9).
“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomachs sake and thine often infirmities.” (1Tim. 5:23).

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart.” (Prov. 3:3).

And if mercy reigns in the earth, the sure result will be abundance of love and peace, and dedication to encouraging and uplifting everyone. It will be heaven on earth.

“And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land….
And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.” (Isa. 7:22,25).


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