Monday, March 5, 2012

Forgiving and avenging...

(listening) Hmmm I am reading Psalm 99 in the New American Standard.  Verses 6 through 9 says, "Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name; They called upon the LORD and He answered them.  He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; They kept His testimonies, and the statute that He gave them. O LORD our God, Thou didst answer them; Thou wast a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger to their evil deeds.  Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for holy is the LORD our God." This passage feels full of balance.  Wow, what a statement, "Thou wast a forgiving God to them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds." That statement gives me peace when thinking about people in my life who have been both kind and cruel to me.  I want God to reach past atrocities because we are all capable of terrible things... but I also want justice because without it kindness and forgiveness would mean nothing. And because if there was only forgiveness, there would be no end to the evil.  There must be consequence.  Without it evil will overwhelm every good. Justice brings as much or more life to my soul as does mercy.

Listen to this line, "They called upon the LORD and He answer them. Wow. I believe God listens and answers, not only these priests of the past but you... and me.   I also believe that He corrects and guides.  I'm thinking of that song by Garth Brooks called Unanswered Prayers.  In it Garth suggests that sometimes God's good gift is choosing not to give us what we have asked for.  I personally wouldn't call them unanswered prayers but prayers that were answered, "no" or "wait".

Sometimes, no matter how hard I want to do good, sometimes my behavior is harmful to others.  When I sin, others are sinned on and those that are sinned on need to know that God is their defender.  Even if He defends against me.  That also gives me peace.  It means that I can trust Him with the damage I am bound to cause. If I am living in reckless abandon in my walk with Him. I have to trust Him to avenge those I have hurt.  If I am ever going to trust Him to avenge those who have hurt me.  I want consequences because I want to become more than I am.  More gracious, more kind and understanding, more humble and pure.

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