“For they sinned against the LORD, their true pasture (or according to other translations, their true place of rest, the habitation of righteousness, the beauty of justice).” (Jer 50:7)
I was designed to find peace in God, not in anything else but God. My soul finds rest in God alone. (Ps 62:1) He is the place where I was created to dwell. He is the pasture, the nourishment, my only real sustenance.
But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. (I Cor 6:17)
And now it is a time when God does actually dwell in me, and I in Him. How absolutely wonderful this is! During church, we sang “Someday,” and then hummed while Chidiya read, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” (Rev 21:3) Although this refers to heaven, it also describes our state now, and my heart is so moved at the awesomeness of it all.
In those coming days,” says the Lord,
“the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah.
They will come weeping and seeking the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Jerusalemand will start back home again.
They will bind themselves to the Lord with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.
“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains.
… All who found them devoured them.
I am looking for those who are looking for the Lord, who are asking the way to Jerusalem, who want to bind themselves to Him eternally. So many have been led astray to pastures that didn’t succor them. They have been taken advantage of, and mastered by the world. But God has been moving, working in their lives, and they are out there, bleating to find the true pasture.
And at the heart of the true pasture, the place of rest in God’s presence, is the throne of mercy. What a blessing this is! How I long for it. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4)
I have been thinking about mercy a lot lately. I have been doing research on solutions to foreign policy problems, and I watched a video on Ted of a Libyan female leader who said mercy is a key to improving the political climate. It encourages collaboration instead of competition, inclusion rather than exclusion. “The divine matrix of compassion nourishes the entire existence, “ she said. To her the divine inspiration for this is Allah. She explained her definition of mercy from the Koran. To hear her talk about this was a great illustration for me of the universal power of mercy, and how much it is needed.
There always needs to be a balance of righteousness and mercy. When I am grumpy and irritable, I forget mercy and become self righteous. I was this way yesterday morning, and I had to picture myself entering God’s throne room, feel myself basking in his mercy until I could get the perspective to go out and speak words that seemed right.
In those days, at that time,” declares the LORD, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve. (Jer 50:20)
We have forgiveness! The rain of God’s mercy is constantly falling on us. May this drench me to the heart and permeate my being, so I may reflect it as I go out.