All creation is called to worship the Creator. He is so incredible that it would be difficult to grasp who he is if it were not for the fact that he has introduced himself to mankind. He introduced himself to Moses and we can read of the account in Exodus 34.
It is truly amazing that the first thing God reveals about His name (or character) was that He is merciful and compassionate. One might think that God would have revealed his power and strength but it was his mercy and compassion that God wanted Moses to know about.
Israel had sinned against God and broken His covenant with them. They deserved judgement, but God relented. But this is not just a one-time event. It happened numerous times.
Consider the prayer of Nehemiah. “But they (Israel) were disobedient and rebelled against you; they put your instructions (torah) behind their backs (meaning they ignored what God said). They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies. But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time (Nehemiah 9:26-28).
God’s compassion isn’t just sympathy. When we see someone in trouble, we can feel bad for them, but God’s compassion is so deep that it goes beyond relieving our pain or discomfort. He wanted Moses to know that his compassion was for his people who rebelled and brought all kinds of trouble on themselves.
Exodus 32 tells us that Moses got so angry at the people that he broke the tablets that God made. In contrast, God wanted Moses to know that he was full of compassion and mercy even for people who were setting up and worshipping idols.
There is a place in Australia that has become a favourite spot for those who want to commit suicide. It is a rocky cliff near Sydney Harbour called The Gap. For nearly 50 years, a man named Don Ritchie has lived across the street from The Gap. Don sees it as his responsibility to try to keep people from jumping over. It is estimated he has saved more than 160 lives by offering conversation, coffee or tea. In some way, he tries to bring them hope. Don keeps a constant vigil toward the cliff with binoculars. On at least one occasion, a person almost dragged Don over the cliff. He has been described as an angel. The reporter telling his story reports that Don has said, “You can’t just sit there and watch them. You gotta try and save them. It’s pretty simple.”
That’s what God does. He watches with compassion and mercy, then he does what he can to stop people from destroying themselves.
Aren’t you glad that God is compassionate and merciful? He is worthy of all the worship and praise that we can possibly offer. We appreciate your Comments