" For I desired MERCY and NOT sacrifice; and the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6
What is mercy? As I read and meditate on the WORD I marvel at my weakness... and stand in awe at the Lord's goodness!
I marveled this morning while reading through the account of the Lord Jesus sitting down and eating with the publicans and sinners...
Yes, publicans and sinners.
" And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. "
How in need I am of the LORD GOD.
How easily I find myself just like the Pharisees... judging, finding fault, and lacking compassion.
Do you ever find yourself "whole"... and not in need of a Physician?
Do you ever find yourself thinking that you are " sacrificing unto the Lord"... but lack mercy toward another?
The Lord's admonition to the Pharisees, is also good for me. I must learn and know what it means to show mercy.
I thought about how quickly I judge another person and find so many faults... because, well, they "aren't as they should be". Sometimes I look too long(way too long) at the speck in the eye of another person. Do you do the same?
In the light of God's Word, I'm ashamed at how shallow my "goodness and faithfulness" to the Lord can be.
I can be very faithful in my morning devotion, but does it go away throughout the day when I'm faced with showing kindness to a "publican" or "sinner"?
" O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?
for your goodness is as a morning cloud,
and as the early dew it goeth away."
Mercy... showing kindness and compassion... pardoning iniquity.
Mercy... learned only through the knowledge of God.
" Who is a God like unto Thee,
that pardoneth iniquity,
and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He retaineth not His anger for ever,
because He delighteth in mercy.
He will turn again,
He will have compassion upon us;
He will subdue our iniquities;
and Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."
God's mercy on us(when we didn't deserve it)...ought to be the same mercy we show toward one another.
Faithful and loving Father, we humbly acknowledge our sins before you. How often we too, like the Pharisees, judge and find fault in others. Teach us and guide us to walk in humbleness of mind, laying aside all forms of selfish pride and self-works. Help us to learn what it means to have compassion, mercy and love through the help of your Holy Spirit.
May you look unto the Lord Jesus Christ and learn of His ways... His gentleness, compassion and faithfulness that always brought glory to the Father.