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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grace and Mercy

It’s amazing how we can read the scriptures many times over and then one day something jumps out at us that we never noticed before. This happened to me one night as I was reading Psalm 90. This Psalm was written by Moses, appealing to God on behalf of the children of Israel.

For those of you who may not know it, God had sent Moses to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt where they had been in bondage for four hundred years. After many trials, Pharoah, the ruler, finally agreed to let the people leave Egypt. However, no sooner had they been freed, they began to rebel and complain. Their journey into the promised land which should have lasted a few days took forty years to complete. During that time God became so angry at their rebellion, he threatened to wipe them out, and would have had not Moses interceded for them. They were bitten by snakes, and many other troubles overcame them.

The children of Israel suffered the wrath of God. Hence the reason Moses wrote this Psalm. In verse 7 he writes, “For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.” Again in verse 9 he says, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.”

I read these verses over and over, then I thought, we are no longer under wrath, but under grace. When Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, He got rid of the curse that we had been under since Adam fell. When Jesus died, He restored us to a right relationship with God, the Father. When Jesus shed His precious blood for us on the cross, we obtained “grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:2).

“But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). Had Moses lived in Jesus’ day he would never have written that Psalm the way he did, for he would have realized that God hath dispensed with His wrath and bestowed grace and mercy on His people.

And there’s the operative word- His. Those of us who belong to Him through Jesus Christ are assured of His grace, but those outside of Christ are still exposed to His wrath. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). So that’s the key to escaping God’s wrath-accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and you will not perish. God bless.

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