Saturday, February 7, 2009
God's Merciful Compassion--a Study
Gods merciful compassion is seen everywhere in the Old Testament. 1. His compassion carries on in the New Testament as well, where we see: He is the One from whom all things come and for whom we live ( 1 Corinthians 8:6). We see He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3-10), sealing us with His Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5) and effecting our rescue from Satan's domain (Col. 1:13-14). He Himself does not tempt us (Jas. 1:13), and He moderates every temptation we experience ( 1 Cor. 10:13). He is able to keep us from falling (Jude 24-25), but even when we do fall, He confronts us in our troubles (2 Cor. 1:3-4) and continues to work all things for our good (by conforming us to the image of Christ; Rom. 8:28-30). He works in us (Phil. 2:12-13), enabling us to grow (1 Cor. 3:7) and to do the works He has already prepared for us (Eph. 2:8-10). 2. The believer's responsibilities towards God. In light of the revealed character of our loving, merciful, compassionate Creator, what is our response? The following suggestions provide the framework as seen in the Old Testament. We are to enjoy the Eternal One forever. (1). We are to delight in God's Law (Ps. 1:2; 19:8). (2). God Himself is the source of joy and delight (Ps. 21:6; 45:7). (3). We take joy in: a. His protection (Ps. 5:11; 16:8-11). b. His salvation, forgiveness, and consolation (Ps. 35:9, 51:8). c. His provision of material possessions (106:5; 113:9). d. His victory, judgment(s), deliverance (21:1; 35:27; 145:7). E. His creation (48:1-2; 111:2). (4). We express our delight through: a. Song (Ps. 9:2; 31:11). b. Worship (Ps. 34:1-3; 42:4; 47:5; 118:15; 122:1). we are to pursue the Holy One. Throughout the Bible are commands to seek God (1 Chron. 16:10-11; 2 Chron. 14:4; Ps. 77:2; 105:3-4; Isa. 55:6; Hos. 10:12; Amos 5:4-6; Zeph. 2:3; Matt. 6:33; 7:7; Luke 11:9 and 12:31). We are promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him (Deut. 4:29; 1 Chron. 28:9; 2 Chron. 15:2; Prov. 8:17; Jer. 29:13). He will hear us and forgive (2 Chron. 7:140; we will understand justice (Prov. 28:5) and lack no good thing (Ps. 34:10). Indeed, God seeks after those people who seek to know Him (Ps. 14:2; 53:2). We are to praise the Worthy Master. God's quest to be glorified and our quest to be satisfied reach their goal in this one experience: our delight in God which overflows in praise. For God, praise is the sweet echo of his own excellence in the hearts of his people. For us, praise is the summit of satisfaction that comes from living in fellowship with God. Piper, Desiring God, p. 41. (1). We praise God for: a. His deeds (Ps. 9:1, 21:13). b. His character or attributes (Ps. 7:17; 107:1; 146:10). c. His law (119:7, 62, 108, 164, 171, 175). (2). One significant avenue of praise is song (30:4, 69:30; 147:1,7). (3). The rest of the Creation also praises God (19:1; 148:1-8). (4). Psalm 150, the last Psalm, is a delightful summary of praise: Praise the Lord. "Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power, Praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, Praise him with the harp and lyre, Praise him with tambourine and dancing, Praise him with the strings and flute, Praise him with the clash of cymbals, Praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD. We are to worship the Glorious King of Kings. The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of truth is our renewed spirit; and the resulting heat of our afflictions is powerful worship, pushing its way in our confessions, longings, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed hearts, lifted hands and obedient lives. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.