"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The End of Mercy: What if God Stopped Listening?
"Thus says the Lord of Hosts, 'Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.' But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. 'As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear,' says the Lord of hosts."
- Zechariah 7:9-13
And in Isaiah 59:2-3, "Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness."
These verses should be frightening to the modern reader. Are we not moving further and further down a social path that assumes the irrelevancy of God and His word? The Scriptures tell us that God reaches a point of no return in dealing with a stubborn folk: as they refuse to hear Him, He starts to refuse to hear them! I think that we already see this in modern Europe. The continent that saw the Reformers in their glory, now has abandoned their churches, some even reviving the pagan practices of their distant ancestors. Do we not see God abandoning them to the consequences of their spiritual deafness? Europeans are aborting themselves into extinction as their societies are, more and more, turned over to Muslim immigrants. The Europeans abort their children and turn their homelands over to foreigners who know not their languages, their cultures, or their faiths.
However, I do not surrender hope in the grace and mercy of God. Didn't Elijah forget the Covenant, when he said to the Lord (I Kings 19:10), "For the people of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, thrown down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away"? However, while Israel may indeed break the Covenant, God cannot, and rebukes Elijah (verse 18), "Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him." Indeed, spiritual circumstances may appear hopeless to our limited mortal eyes, but faith should always remind us that God retains to Himself a faithful remnant. And may He grant that we will be found among that number!
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43