For Contrite Rebels: Mercy, Forgiveness, Acceptance

December 2, 2013

Friends,
The towers of the earth are doomed –either to stinging judgement, or to a complete fall. All who are full of pride, all who love perversion, all who harm others in order to build for themselves… –every individual who refuses to fear God, and especially those in this privileged nation– have been repeatedly warned, even until the warners are weary and grieved. Yet like donkeys in heat, the rebellious continue their pursuit, running after their cravings until they are completely worn. (Jer. 2:24,25) “It’s no use!” they say. “I love idolatry and so I must continue to go after my lusts.” (See v. 25) So the Lord brings them heartache, disaster, sickness, and pain, but even then “they do not respond to correction.” (See v. 30) Though it is their own folly that has ruined their lives, their hearts go right on raging against the Lord. (Pr. 19:2)

Would the Lord not restore them if they would repent? Of course He would! He delights to show mercy. (Mi. 7:18) Those who bow in genuine contrition and reverence are granted pardon, forgiveness, and compassion. (v. 17-19) He does not willingly bring affliction or sorrow to people. (Lam. 3:33)

Why then does the Lord bring misery to the peoples of the earth? He does so because of His love. Without His great love, He would leave them to themselves, and they would be rejected forever. The destiny they would stubbornly reap for themselves would be an eternity without God. Thus they would lie down in torment among the demons –in the place where all who are evil, cruel, neglectful, and self-centered are banished. (Mt. 13:41,42 & 25:41-46)

Does not the Lord, even in the last hour, call out to the sinners? Does He not plead with them to turn, to turn from the evil realm, to step out from it through faith and choice and repentance? (Ezek. 33:11) Does He not say, “Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” –? (Isa. 45:22) Is He not the God who relents from sending calamity if the people would but fully repent? (Jonah 3:10) Why should they cling to their idols and forfeit the pardon and favor that could be theirs? (2:8) Is any bowl of porridge worth the loss of one’s soul? (Heb. 12:16,17)

“Come to Me and find rest,” our Lord says. (See Mt. 11:28-30) “Look to the cross, the atonement I made for you. [See John 12:32] Though in a surge of anger I abandoned you, yet with deep compassion I will accept you. [See Isa. 54:7,8] Though I have swept you with the broom of destruction [see 14:23] and blown you away like chaff [see 40:23,24], I will grant to you My righteousness and salvation. [See 46:12,13] Though I punished you for your insolent greed [see 57:17], I will heal you and guide you. [See v. 18] I will restore comfort to you, creating praise on the lips of those who have mourned for you.” (See v. 18,19)

So although the wound of the people is as deep as the sea (Lam. 2:13c), and the babblings of the false preachers have proved worthless so that sinners have not been guided away from their captivity (v. 14), “there may yet be hope.” (3:29) “For the Lord will not cast men off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.” (v. 31,32)

For truly, although the Lord is a God of justice (Dt. 32:4 // Ps. 89:14), He is also a God of immense love, compassion, faithfulness, mercy, and forgiveness. (Ex. 34:6,7 // Lam. 3:22,23 // Ja. 2:13b)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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