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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Compassion of the Lord

For the LORD will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants,When He sees that their strength is gone,And there is none remaining, bond or free.
Deuteronomy 32:36


One of the great questions often brought up during times of adversity is whether God really cares, is He truly compassionate?  Is He the compassionate, loving, and kind God presented by Modern Christianity or is He a stern, authoritarian, and unapproachable deity reigning from on High?  God does care, He is Love, and His compassion will never fail.

God’s compassion and Love are not like or own in that His love is perfect and complete needing nothing to add to it.  Within Himself, that is the Godhead, He has both the capacity to love and be loved.  This is
not an ego driven love fueled by a narcissistic  personality exhibiting conceit, but rather an immutable testament to the totality of God’s person.  The Scripture’s are replete with the praise stemming from God’s compassion and His merciful acts bestowed upon His creation.  Psalm 116:5 states that, “ Gracious is the Lord, and righteous: yes our God is compassionate. “ This verse links three traits of our Lord that we often want to separate:  His grace, righteousness, and compassion.  God is gracious in that He extends grace to the whole of humanity        ( more on that in a later post ) regardless of their status in this world.  By His grace we breath, move, and exist and apart from this grace our sin would consume us as there would be no restraint to the wickedness our hearts could conceive.  He is righteous and that all that He does is Holy, there is no darkness to be found in Him and His decrees forever proceed from His nature.  He is compassionate not because He is obligated to be on account of our righteousness but because we are totally dependent on this compassion for all that is good:  His grace, compassion, and holiness cannot be separated.


In the book of Joel we read, “ rend your hearts and not your garments, now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving-kindness and relenting of evil. “ ( Joel 2:13 )  Again we are told that God is gracious, compassionate, and full of loving-kindness.  He is slow to anger which is a manifestation of His patience and mercy.  A repentant heart is what God demands from us and as such it is the inner person and not the outward show ( rending of garments ) of repentance that God wants.  This repentance can move God to compassion ( Isaiah 55:7 ) not in a general way but particularly on His people that He has chosen        ( 2 Chronicles 36:15 )

  I will bear the indignation of the LORD
         Because I have sinned against Him,
         Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me
         He will bring me out to the light,
         And I will see His righteousness.
Micah 7:19

He will again have compassion

Being a follower of Christ is a blessing from God Himself and all thanks should be given to Him for the reconciliation that He has wrought, but we will all at times find ourselves wandering and dry, out of touch with the Lord who has bought us and needing forgiveness.  God will have compassion on His children and will trample our iniquity underfoot and cast our sins into the depths of the sea.  This is great comfort to us as it is a reminder of His faithfulness even with the lack of ours ( 2 Tim 2:13 ) .  His compassion extends to His people at all times and in all ways whether we realize it or not.  Jesus, our Savior, felt compassion for the people because of a lack of leadership ( Mt. 6:34, 9:36 ) , their sickness ( Mt. 14:14) , and because of their needs ( Mt. 15:32,  1 Pt 5:7 ).

You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
         Your loving kindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
Psalm 40:11

God’s compassion will not be withheld from those whom He loves and will be accompanied by His loving-kindness and Truth which will keep us forever.  The redeemed are led by His loving-kindness and strength into His habitation ( Ex. 15:13 ).  His compassion extends to thousands, to those who love Him and keep His commandments ( Ex. 20:6 ).  Jesus Himself reiterates this in the New Testament ( John 14:21, 15:10 ) to remind us that God’s compassion and love, while not dependent upon any of our works,  and conversely our love of Him,  will be seen in our obedience to His word.  If you love me you will keep my commandments is not a requirement for salvation ( for by grace through faith you have been saved ) but rather an acknowledgment of the fact that those who are His will love Him and follow His voice wherever it may lead ( John 10:27 ).

These commandments are not burdensome, ( His Yoke is easy and His burden is light ) nor lengthy.  They, as per Jesus, consist of two commands:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole Law hangs upon these two.  If you love God with your whole being  you will obey Him and if you are loving your neighbor then you will do not harm to them.  We will not be perfect while in this flesh, but as God has shown love and compassion to us we should obey Him and show it to others.

What do you think?  Is God compassionate?

How can a compassionate God allow evil?  Can a just God be both compassionate and Just?  That is for a later day.

God bless and Keep the Faith

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