March 13, 2021
Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel (Matthew 15:29-31).
From time to time I hear people say they cannot believe in the God of the Old Testament because they see Him as mean, blood-thirsty, cruel, and biased in favor of the Jews. They would rather believe in Jesus Christ because they see Him as loving, caring, compassionate, and gentle. What is hard to convince people of is the God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. In fact, all that God does in the Old Testament is also all that Christ does in the Old Testament, and all that Jesus Christ does in the New Testament is also all that God does in the New Testament. The Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are one in essence, character, nature, purpose, and will.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). I and My Father are one (John 10:30). And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:22-23).
Jesus demonstrated again and again the love and compassion of God upon those who have been severely affected by sin. This is the love and compassion of the Father as well. Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22). The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy (Psalms 103:8). He loved us so much He sent His Son to save us (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:8).
Time and time again the Lord showed compassion on His people when they were in need, despite their sin and rebellion against Him, despite their godlessness and idolatry. Why? Because they are Jews? No. He punished them for their sins. The first generation in the Exodus (600,000 adults) died in the desert sands of the Sinai. He allowed the northern 10 tribes to be destroyed by Assyria and the southern 2 tribes to be conquered and sent into exile by the Babylonians. He is a just God and does not tolerate our sins forever. But He is also a compassionate God who delivers us from sin and its awful effects when we repent and return to Him. He did then - He does today because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
“Thank You, Lord, for Your great love and compassion toward us in that while we were sinners, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. I thank Your for being consistent in Your love and compassion, that You are not fickle like we are, but You are merciful and gracious and forgiving. May Your name be praised forever. Amen.”