John 8:10-11 (NLT)
10Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
11“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
John 8:12 (NLT)
12Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:19 (NLT)
19“Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, then you would know my Father, too.”
John 8:42-43 (NLT)
42Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me. 43Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so!
So many people think God is about rules, regulations, ritual, and punishment. I wish they could see the way Jesus treated this woman caught in adultery. I wish they could see how He put her and her needs first. He didn’t negate the law, He merely restored her to a place of dignity. As a created child of God, she is valuable and honored. Jesus showed that. Why can’t people see that?
Yet, how can I compare the readings in Habakkuk with these verses in John? Why is God so angry? Why does Habakkuk have to plead mercy? Why is God so exact? Interestingly, Habakkuk seems to understand the need for God’s exacting.
I think we underestimate God’s will for us. We forget His expectations when He created us. We were created to represent Him. We are His most prized possession. We were created to bring Him glory and honor — to vindicate His character against Satan’s attacks. But, more importantly — He loves us to death… literally.
Like any good parent, he only wants the best for us. He will do whatever it takes to raise us to be the best. He wants us to grow strong — spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and holistically. In the process of training us, sometimes He must discipline sternly. Other times he must show great sympathy and compassion.
The problem is really ours. We misundertand God. When He acts with patience and compassion, we think we can do anything we want — our own selfish desires — and still achieve a level of holiness that is acceptable. When God punishes us for straying, we think He is being mean and arbritrary. We have trouble seeing the balance.
In His wisdom and omnipotence, God is doing His best to bring us to a place where we do represent Him. We are His remnant and He is waiting for us to reveal His mercy and justice — through His love, grace, forgiveness, and righteousness.
When will we understand?
I am beginning to find the balance between justice and mercy — well, at least I am scratching the surface. God’s love is what He is all about. Sometimes His love for me demands that I put away childish, selfish things. Other times, He laughs at my ignorance and simplistic ways. Sometimes He sends me to my room, and other times He pulls me up onto His lap and holds me.
Sometimes I need compassion and understanding. Other times, I just need to be told in no uncertain words what I need to do.
I will trust Him to know what is appropriate for the time.
Father God, once again I put my trust in you. Today, I will accept what you bring to me and how you choose to handle the day’s situations. I put my will in your hands and I expect you will lead me out of temptations and away from Satan’s traps — just like you did a couple of days ago.
In addition, I hope that we can actually move forward in trust, respect, adn confidence.
Thanks Father — Thanks Jesus — Thank you Spirit!