Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mercy, Mercy, Me.

Did anyone else almost cry listening to the reading from Hosea yesterday?

Thus says the LORD: Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt. Take with you words,and return to the LORD; Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity, and receive what is good, that we may renderas offerings the bullocks from our stalls. Assyria will not save us,nor shall we have horses to mount; We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’to the work of our hands; for in you the orphan finds compassion.” I will heal their defection, says the LORD, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive treeand his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar. Again they shall dwell in his shade and raise grain; They shall blossom like the vine,and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols? I have humbled him, but I will prosper him. “I am like a verdant cypress tree”— Because of me you bear fruit! Let him who is wise understand these things; let him who is prudent know them. Straight are the paths of the LORD, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them.
This is just such a testiment of the faithful mercy of God. Not a mercy that stands in judgement and indignation looking to crush, but a mercy that feels compassion and looks to restore after purifying the sinner.

It made me think: If I really had God's mercy present in my mind all day long, I wouldn't stop crying... not tears of sadness, but tears of joy. Lord give me such tears of joy.

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