God's Compassion And Mercy
A daily devotion for December 29th
12 The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters.
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (Job 42:12a)
This is what James calls in the Revised Standard Version
the purpose of the Lord (James 5:11), revealing God to be compassionate and merciful. God did not suddenly become compassionate and merciful to Job; He had been that way all along. God's character, unchanging, is compassion and mercy. He is love. Though He puts us through times of trials and pressures and hardships, it is not because He is angry and upset; it is because He is compassionate and merciful. If we wait, He will bring us to the place where we will see that as plainly and clearly as Job did. So the purpose of the Lord is to reveal His own heart of compassion and mercy to this dear old man.
There is a beautiful passage in Jeremiah's Lamentations that I think we must always remember when we are going through trials and afflictions. I would urge you to memorize it as you face a new year:
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men (Lamentations 3:31-33).
Isn't that encouraging? He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men. He will bring grief because He loves us and we need it, but He does not do it lightly. He feels our pain with us. As a good parent with His children, He hurts worse than we do at times. He does not willingly do it. I think we need to recall that when we are put through times of pressure and danger.
God moves Job's relatives and friends to bring him gifts of silver and gold. But perhaps these gifts of silver and gold that friends and relatives brought were God's way of providing a foundation of the wealth that He will bring Job. At any rate, Job ended up with double everything that he had before.
Well, you say,
God doubled everything but his sons and daughters. He ended up with seven sons and three daughters, just like he had at the beginning. No. You forget he has seven sons and three daughters in heaven, and seven sons and three daughters more on earth, so God indeed gave Job double everything that he had to start with. That is the mercy of God. He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men but longs to give them blessing when they come to the place where they can handle the blessing that He wants to give.
Help us to accept Your tender mercies, Lord, and to see behind them Your loving, compassionate heart. Help us, out of our understanding to bring praise to the glory of our great God.
Life Application: Trials are graduate courses where we can learn to trust the immutable purpose of our Father. Do we see him as our kind Father whose desire is always to bless his child?
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