Romans 9:14-16; Exodus 33:15-19; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Hebrews 4:14-16
There are two types of people; those that do good and those that do evil. Or maybe we're all good and the "evil" is just in our head. Can it be that we can't help who we are so there is no cause to blame me for the way I am?
God clearly states all men are born into sin. But then where does that place God in a relationship with a sinful creature when God is the ultimate example of perfection? Should we fear God for what we are born into?
Romans 9:14-16 is a little history of God's mercy on man starting with Moses in vs 15. "For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.'" Paul was speaking about the time Moses was on the mountain with God and explaining his fears. If you notice, Moses was bold when talking to God even though it was in the form of fear and rightly so. Israel had disobeyed God making the golden calf as an idol. Moses then asks God to show him who God really is.
Exodus 33:15-19 is the conversation between Moses and God. Verses 18-19 "And he said, 'Please, show me Your glory.' Then He said, 'I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.'"
In chapter 34, verses 5-7, God describes to Moses who He is in more detail than before. "Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, 'The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.'"
At the end of these few verses God makes the remark of not clearing the guilty of their own sinful actions for God is just and will not and cannot abide sin in His presence. Moses quickly bows before the Lord and as he often did, stepped up for Israel. Verse 9 "Then he said, 'If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people: and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.'"
In a similar passage in Numbers the same is repeated. Numbers 14:11-12, 17-21 Vs 11-12 "Then the Lord said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they."
Vs 17-21 "And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken saying, 'The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forginging iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.'
"Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.' Then the Lord said: 'I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord-"
Back in the New Testament, Paul boasts of God's mercifulness, not his own when he speaks of himself. In 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Paul speaks of his past. Vs 13 "although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." He goes onto say he is the chief of sinners, seeing himself as such, not worthy of such grace yet accepting it thankfully. Vs 16 "However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life."
In closing, I end with Jesus as our High Priest. How can God be so merciful? Because He is the essence of Love. But how can I trust He can forgive this or that? I know how bad it is. I am guilty and shamed beyond words. Who can ever forgive someone like me?
Hebrews 4:14-16 "Seeing then that we have a greath High Priest who has pased through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confessions. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
This is our own life's work God sets before us. What we learn, we must share. God is ultimately a God of love and mercy; no sin is too great to forgive. Let all come before God and worship under His name. For God is love...
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