Day 18, Fatherly love!
Psalm 103:13 (New International Version)
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
Elsewhere in the chapter we read:
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
When we read the gospel writers we see that Jesus delighted in mercy especially to those who were marginalized and outcasts of society, he bypassed the spiritually proud and arrogant and often kept company with those who were common ordinary people who he could heal with his love, and free them from the bondage that they found themselves trapped in.
Many times we read that he traveled a long way just to come into contact with the souls he was seeking to save and drawing with his love.
Psalms 27:8 says ...
When You said, “Seek My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
God is the initiator of our faith and the author and finisher as well.
One story we read was about a woman with a demon possessed daughter. This woman was not even an Israelite but an Idolater, apparently she was following the disciples and crying after them, they were tired of her and wanted Jesus to send her away. When she came into contact with Jesus she says “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” Her prayer is similar to the despised publican who says "Lord please be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13) Jesus pretends to ignore her, testing her faith and at the same time giving a lesson to his disciples that he was not prejudiced and impatient the way they were. Remember…. So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him, we see nothing in this story about this woman that would lead us to believe that she was anything other than a child of God by her interaction with Jesus. There are many like her that the world passes by and ignores as invisible.
The Israelites were exclusive and did have many prejudiced ways and definitely thought that they were better than other people outside their community of faith.
With a mothers love the bible says
"she kept asking Him" and she came and fell at his feet & worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
Like her we all need to be in earnest when we approach the throne of grace remembering that he delights in mercy. We need to fall at his feet and worship him by prayer and unhurried study of his word.
Jesus tells her “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.
She sees her chance and to her this is not a rebuff but a window into his heart of compassion
and she replies and says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
She has no spiritual pride that is so common in Israel and in simple trust she hangs her faith on the rock that will never fail.
The Lord commends her by saying “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”
Her request is granted and so with us today if we come before the throne of grace earnestly we will never walk away empty. Salvation for the chief of sinners was his theme.