In the hours before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) it is good to ponder the infinite, perpetual, and faithful mercies of God.
Mercy is deserved wrath withheld. (The dictionary says: “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”)
Today, I found: “A sermon / preach’d by Dr. Benjamin Colman, at the Friday-lecture in Brattle-Street [Boston, Massachusetts), March 4, 1736, ‘After a most merciful and wonderful preservation of the town from being consumed by fire, which broke out in Union-Street, about four that morning. ; Printed at the earnest request of the preserved nei’bourhood and others; to be in their houses some memorial of the Divine compassions, and a small testimony of their thankfulness to God for the deliverance granted them.’”
Dr. Colman’s reflection (20 pages worth on a Friday!) on mercy startled and delighted me. He chose this text: It is of the LORD’s Mercies that we are not consumed, because His Compassions fail not; they are new every Morning. (Lamentation 3:22).
Then, on page six of his 20 (Mercy me!), he commented, “We are here supposed every Day to do enough to provoke the consuming Anger of our God…” And, that line is what ignited my happy attention.
I believe he’s saying something like this, God’s unfailing daily mercies pre-suppose that we have done enough sin to need them—every single day!
From this, I laugh at my own notions of self-righteousness, or of a sin-free day. Dr. Colman clearly frees me of that conceit and notion. Thankfully, he then throws me onto the infinite compassion of God and not into the soul-pains of just-deserts.
Of course, my natural, earth-bound being longs to think I’ve done a good job, or at least that I have hope of doing a better job later. So, it chaffs at the idea of needing mercy, and stands with, “After all, I’m trying!”
Thankfully, my new, born-from-Christ, spirit-person sees the clear and freeing advantage of comprehending this totally-depraved sinner thing and then basking in God’s mercies! It coaxes me back to Jesus!
Praise the Lord for his atoning and finished work on the cross. “It is finished!” Jesus proclaims forever from up there!
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John AKA for today, Johannon!