Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Father's pity

TODAY'S SPECIAL: PSALM 103:1-22
(Yes, two days in a row in the same Psalm.)

TO CHEW ON: "As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him." Psalm 103:13

Watch parents with their newborn infant. See the gentle touch and the adoring gaze, hear the soft, soothing tone. That's "pities" - "racham" — the way God the Father regards us ("those who fear Him"), His children.

[Pities - racham means to feel or show compassion, to love deeply, to show pity or mercy, to tenderly regard someone; to tenderly love (especially as parents love their infant child). Racham is the origin of the Hebrew word for womb - rechem. In Isaiah 49:15 God asks, "Can a woman forget her nursing child and not have compassion on (racham) the son of her womb (rechem)?"- Dick Mills, "Word Wealth," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1146.]

One reason human parents treat their infant with such tenderness is because they know the helplessness and vulnerability of this tiny creature for whom they are responsible. God's impulse of tenderness toward us comes from similar feelings (if we can call them that). "He knows our frame," assures the psalm-writer, David. "He remembers that we are dust."

David goes on to remind us about life's brevity—grass, flowers—and insignificance: "For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,/ And its place remembers it no more."

In contrast, God's mercy "is from everlasting to everlasting ... His righteousness to children's children." God's attention elevates those who fear Him from disposable grass to something worth loving and preserving.

As I grow older, I am more keenly aware than ever of my own grass-like lifespan, my flower-like vulnerability. Soon I'll too be gone and the meadow will forget me. But God won't. As we saw when we focused our attention on the ascension yesterday, there is another chapter. In it:

  • we will see God - Job 19:26; Psalm 49:15.
  • we will be beyond the grasp of death and decay - John 8:51; 11:26.
  • we will live with Jesus - John 14:3; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.


PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that because of Jesus my life can have significance beyond its mortal span. Amen.

MORE: "Saviour of the World" - Ben Cantelon




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