Posted in encouragement, theology

Throwback: Lot Received So Much Mercy

I’m doing a Throwback today and tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

This first appeared on The End Time one year ago, 11/21/2017

Picture by Violet Nesdoly, patterned after
“Escape for thy life” by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

The story of Lot is an interesting one. Abraham’s nephew, we’re familiar with Lot’s origins from Genesis 11:27,

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot.

When Haran died, Terah took in Lot and raised him. Later when Abram heard God and prepared to leave his home in obedience, Lot went with his uncle Abram. (Genesis 12:4).

Much later as their joined herds grew so large that the pastures would not feed them all, Lot chose the plain toward Sodom and Abram let Lot have that choice and Abram went the other way. The two separated. It wasn’t long after that Lot was living IN Sodom and had become one of its elders sitting at the gate. You know all this. Lot received mercy through all these choices and his downward spiral.

Now, when the outcry against Sodom had grown terrible, God sent Jesus and two angels to destroy Sodom and the other 4 cities of the plain (Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and tiny Zoar). Abram pleaded to save Sodom for the sake of ten righteous people that may live in it. Unfortunately, the city was so wicked, ten righteous could not be found, and its destruction was scheduled. The Lord again offered mercy to Lot and here are the examples.

He sent the two angels into the city to warn Lot, his wife, and any family members. We see again that Lot’s character isn’t the best. Lot knew the angels were from God and he understood that judgment was coming. He even had seen the angels perform a miracle by striking all the men of the lustful mob blind. Even at the very last moments of Sodom’s life as a city, Lot was still making incredibly bad choices.

Pleading with the mob, he offers them his virginal daughters to rape instead. That was a craven and unconscionable thing for a father to do.

Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof. (Genesis 19:8).

Then when Lot attempted to warn his sons-in-law, Lot’s witness was so poor that they thought he was joking. Lot was not spiritually convincing in the least.

So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting. (Genesis 18:14).

Even then, Lot lingered. We all know that Mrs Lot turned her head and looked back, violating the angels’ command, but Lot lingered in Sodom too!

But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. (Genesis 19:16).

Even through all this, the Lord is still offering Lot mercy. But when the angels told Lot to run and go fast away from Sodom to the hills, he whined and complained that he couldn’t! He asked instead to be allowed to run to Zoar.

I’d like to think that if two of God’s holy angels arrived and told me to leave because the place where I lived was about to be destroyed, I’d listen. Moreover, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t disobey, and would not be bold enough to negotiate the terms! But Lot did.

Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved. (Genesis 19:20).

And finally, even though the angels told Lot that they would not overthrow the little town Lot spoke of, Lot was still afraid!

Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. (Genesis 19:30).

In 2 Peter 2:7 Lot is called righteous. Three times.

Take comfort from Lot’s string of decisions. I am sure that I have made such poor decisions in my Christian life, one after another. I surely would have deserved death. But the Lord strove with Lot and allowed the angels to grant him favor after favor. The Lord loves whom He loves and He has mercy upon whom He has mercy.

Do you know why Lot was called righteous by Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit not just once but three times in the verses from 2 Peter?

“because he was oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men, for by what he saw and heard that righteous man while living among them felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” (2 Peter 2:7)

Lot hated sin.

That’s it. The Lord has mercy on fathers who fail their daughters, on morally weak men, on stumblers and whiners and bumblers. Like I am, and you are. When we hate sin, our own and others’, we are on the right side of God – for He is holy.

Take comfort in Lot’s example. Hate sin, love God, and trust that He has mercy for those who strive to holiness and fight against sin.

 

Posted in theology

From whence our mercies come

By Elizabeth Prata

In The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 2, there is a scene with Christiana in the House of the Interpreter. The Interpreter was showing Christiana, Mercy, and the boys some things happening in different rooms of the house.

He had them into another room, where were a hen and chickens, and bid them observe a while. So one of the chickens went to the trough to drink, and every time she drank she lifted up her head and her eyes towards heaven. See, said he, what this little chick doth, and learn of her to acknowledge whence your mercies come, by receiving them with looking up.

Of course the Interpreter is making reference to something by using a picture. Chickens actually need to drink by tipping their heads back.

Often times in late medieval literature, the author used emblems to convey an idea. An emblem is not a symbol, exactly.

According to Wikipedia, “although the words emblem and symbol are often used interchangeably, an emblem is a pattern that is used to represent an idea or an individual. An emblem crystallizes in concrete, visual terms some abstraction: a deity, a tribe or nation, or a virtue or vice.”

Just a paragraph above in this section of Pilgrim’s Progress, author John Bunyan had directly referred to an emblem. As the Interpreter showed Christiana a robin eating a spider, he proceeded to explain its meaning.

A few moments later in the scene, we come upon the chickens. It’s a vivid word picture. Not much needs to be explained about what we see here. The picture is good to ponder. Do we acknowledge from whence our mercies come? Are we thankful to the Father who gives all good gifts to His children?

chickens

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

New mercies every day

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

I was thinking about that this morning…as many mornings as there are, the Lord’s mercies are new every day. Any fresh day that comes, His mercies are new to go along with it. Such a sign of His infinity and everlasting-ness. That is so good because I need His mercy every day!

I think of the humble tax collector, But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13)

Jesus said that man went home justified, as opposed to the Pharisee who pridefully listed all his accomplisments for God. I need to remember the Tax Collector’s humility and position before our Great God.

I’m praising Him for His infinite mercy and the days upon days we as His children are privileged to experience it.

Mercy is at the heart of redemptive ministry. Mercy is to extend to all without regard for race, or status, or gender, or age. And mercy is to be offered patiently toward those who are ignorant in unbelief. And by the way, Micah 7:18, “God delights in mercy.” And He’ll delight in you if you are a merciful Christian. John MacArthur, sermon, A Mission of Mercy

The Trinitarian God of the Father-Son-Holy Spirit is highly exalted. May He be blessed and praised.

Lk18
Source: https://biblia.com/verseoftheday/image/Lk18.13-14
Posted in Uncategorized, visual theology

Chris Powers’ sketches the Beatitudes: Mercy

Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

O, Lord, help me to be merciful tho those who doubt, the poor and vulnerable (Jude 1:22, Proverbs 19:17, Matthew 25:40). I received mercy in great measure. Help me to always remember from whence mercy came.

chris powers

Chris Powers is the artist behind Full Of Eyes Ministry. Full of Eyes is creating free visual resources for the global Church.

He produces animations, art, and tracts of Biblical illustrations with verses and explanations, in a powerful way. He is on Patreon (where you can donate) as well as Youtube and the web at fullofeyes.com.

Posted in poetry, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: Everlasting Mercy

Kay Cude poetry, used with permission. Click picture to enlarge

Artist’s Statement:

I am consistently drawn to Dore’s work! And each time I utilize one of his profoundly sensitive pieces, I imagine that as he worked on his wood plates, he had no concept of their enduring qualities or that centuries later I and others would be drawn to use them in our efforts to magnify and praise God! How amazed Dore would be to know that his telling works now cover the earth through digital media, or that millions have seen God’s glory through his pieces, and in a more profound way than he could even begin to imagine! Isn’t God just so very wise! His plans to make Himself and His Christ known through art and other forms of media makes our intuitiveness very pale! I believe God selects those desiring to serve Him in this manner and uses their work (spiritual gifts) for His purpose…

 

More on artist and engraver Gustave Dore and his fabulous and evocative works, many of which are biblical scenes.