Monday, April 9, 2012

The "Multitude" of God’s Mercy

"But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of you I will worship toward Your holy temple" (Psalm 5:7). Even the righteous need a "multitude" of mercy from God because "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). The difference between the righteous and unrighteous can be defined, somewhat, by degree, at least in human terms—viewed horizontally. The "righteous" sin less than the "unrighteous", and lead a more positive, productive spiritual life. But, when considering the absolute holiness of God—viewed vertically from above—that "degree" of righteousness pales considerably.

The separation, in God’s view, is in attitude as much as it is in action. The righteous want God’s mercy, come seeking and asking Him for it, and "worship" Him in "fear" (respect, reverence, even fright at His Almighty power and perfection). Only the "multitude" of God’s mercy allows anyone entrance into His house. Obedience is indeed a prerequisite to acceptance by God (Heb. 5:8-9; I Peter 1:22) and flaunting God’s commands—on any level—will only produce His wrath (II Thess. 1:7-9). But in our prayers at the end of the day, let us seek mercy from God, not wages.

"Why Do the Heathen Rage?"

Just one of the things that indicates the truth of the Bible is its infallibly accurate analysis of human thoughts and actions. Written 3,000 years ago, David’s words in Psalm 2 are just as descriptive of the world today as they were when he wrote them: "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psalm 2:1-3). People do, indeed, "rage" against God and "his anointed (Christ)." The selfish heathen do not want to be bound by the righteous laws of a holy God—law, of course, that, if universally applied, would make for a world of peace, patience, love, forgiveness, self-control, and every other virtue so needed but so lacking in today’s carnal, lust-filled humanity. But people would rather have war and hate than submit to a God of peace and love.

The Lord’s response is not encouraging for reprobate mankind: "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision" (v. 4). "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7).