Sandy sits on the iron bench bolted to the sidewalk by Prink Avenue and finishes her cell phone conversation. Unhesitatingly, she stands and moves into the crosswalk practically daring the cars to stop. The yellow Walk light has not yet flashed but she doesn’t care, she is an important person and she knows the drivers will wait. Her spiritual life is much the same. Sandy approaches God and expects that He will listen to her because she is a good person and her list of accomplishments warrants in her mind, His favor.
Daniel 9:18—Listen, my God, and hear. Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city called by Your name. For we are not presenting our petitions before You based on our righteous acts, but based on Your abundant compassion.
At a time in history of national shame, the Jews desperately needed God’s kindness. Daniel understood how to appeal to his Father. He knew that petitions backed by moral accomplishments could never repair the damage done by centuries of blatant spiritual rebellion. If cedar tabernacles filled with chanted psalms could undue sin, God would not have resorted to a crude cross. Daniel based his request for help on divine compassion—the Hebrew script bearing witness to its abundance.
We fob ourselves if we think that we somehow earn God’s blessing. Desolation is not removed by demonstration. Certainly many Biblical characters like David appealed to God’s mercy based on personal righteousness. But do we ever read God replying “You are right, I owe you favor because you have been so good.” Instead, He reveals His grandeur and in the process, the one appealing comes to the humble recognition that it is His mercy and compassion that are awe-inspiring.
God’s compassion is the sweetest nectar known to man. It calms the anxious mind. It mends sin with a stitchery of golden thread that cannot be broken. It soothes the soul of sorrow with notes of grace. It clears the clots of a plugged heart with the redeeming blood of the holiest Lamb. Seventy-seven times Scripture specifically mentions God’s compassion to His people.
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)