April 5, 2017. Judges 16-18
The thing with our God is that He is never afraid to tell it like it is. He is not afraid to share with the world the ugly side of His people. That is the best way to explain today’s reading. God is showing to everyone who reads this, the ugly side of His people. And more specifically the ugly side where His people actually mock Him by doing just the opposite of what He desires.
The question is, why would the Lord share this, for all the world to know, from generation to generation? Why would He include “ugly” events like this in His written word? The answer is, so we can see Him.
When Moses asked the Lord, “Please, show me Your glory.” The Lord 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.” (Exodus 33:18-19)
When the time came for the Lord to make His goodness pass before Moses here is what Moses saw.
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,…” (Exodus 34:5-7a)
When a man, who is chosen by the Lord to be a Nazarite to God from the womb, mocks this blessing his entire life, and then has his dying wish is granted by the Lord, we see “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious…
When we see Micah, his mother, the tribe of the Danites, and an unnamed Levite mocking God and able to continue to live and not be struck down, we see “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious….
And what about our story? What about the ugly of that habitual sin that we struggle with? What about those ugly times when we follow the desires of our heart, that lead to sin, versus our Lord’s desire?
For every one of those times when we, then…
“confess our sin and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”… (1John 1:9)
….we personally see over and over Our Lord’s mercy and grace.
While some may question, “Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound?” we know better. There is no need to continue in sin, that grace may abound. It already abounds in our salvation and in the many times we have seen His mercy and grace when we have sinned. Instead of continuing in sin, continue giving thanks that He is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for YOU, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. Continue to give thanks for seeing Him.