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        The home of an English family was discovered on fire.  The neighbors thought that everybody was out, but the baby was still on the second floor.  The mother, motivated by her motherly love and instincts, ran back into the house and saved her baby.

        For years as the child grew up the mother went about the house with her hands covered.  No one in her house had ever seen her with her hands uncovered.  But one day, the daughter barged unexpected into her room.  There sat the mother with her hands uncovered.  They were torn, scarred and disfigured.  Instantly the mother tried to cover them up, but it was too late.  Knowing that her daughter would want to know what happened, she murmurred, "I had better tell you about it.  It was when the house was on fire and you were in your cradle.  I fought my way through the flames to get you.  I wrapped you in a blanket and dropped you out of the window to someone below.  I could not go down the stairway, because it was blocked by the fire.  So, I climbed out of the window onto the roof looking for a way of escape.  In fighting through the fire my hands were burned and, as I looked for a way down, I slipped and had to catch onto the metal trellis work.  When I fell, my hands were torn.  The doctor did his best, but, my dear, these hands were torn for you."  And the girl, who had grown to womanhood, sprang toward her mother, took one hand and then the other, and buried her face in those hands, and as she wept she kept saying, "They are beautiful hands, beautiful hands."

        What love and compassion this mother demonstrated towards her daughter!  What love and compassion Jesus Christ demonstrated towards us when He died on the cross that we might be saved!!!  We are presently studing that love and compassion.

        This is study number ten in our series on the biblical doctrine of compassion.  We have reached double figures.  We are presently studying the magnificent compassion of God.  Nine messages ago we embarked on a long expedition through the uses of various Hebrew and Greek words translated "compassion," "compassions," and  "compassionate."  We have surveyed all the Scriptures where the Hebrew word racham (raw-kham'), 7355, is translated "compassion," "compassions," or "compassionate," in relationship to God.

        We are now working on the second most commonly used Hebrew word that is translated "compassion," "compassions," and "compassionate."  That word is racham (rakh'-am), 7356.  We will complete our study of this word today.

        After reviewing the Scriptures where the word racham (rakh'-am), 7356, is used, I could see:

Principle #3:  Jehovah God, as to His nature is love, He demonstrates His love by consistently being compassionate.  In certain instances His compassion is depicted as a Motherly feeling towards His children.

(As we look at how each of these principles concerning God's compassion is represented in the Scripture, we have been making specific observations in each individual passage of Scripture.  Although these observations will, in many cases, include an observation, an interpretation and an application, for the sake of brevity we have been calling these statements "observations".  We have been numbering them with a double number.  The first number indicates the principle that is being applied and the second number indicates the particular observation with respect to that principle.  Let's continue our present study with:)

Psalm 119:77, "May Thy compassion come to me that I may live, For Thy law is my delight."

Observation 3.20:  The 119th Psalm is an acrostic hymn of praise about the Scriptures, i.e. the Word of God.  Each stanza begins with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  In this acrostic hymn of praise about the Scriptures, David prays to God for His compassion in the midst of some kind of danger.  He seems to be appealing to God for His compassion on the basis of His delight in the law or Word of God.

        We have already observed and learned that God's compassion is a demonstration of His absolute, intransitive, eternal lovingkindness.  We have observed that there appears to be an eternal compassion and a temporal compassion which flow from His eternal lovingkindness.  We know that His eternal lovingkindness and compassion are unconditional and cannot be affected by man, but we have also observed that the temporal, transitive, relative, compassion of God is conditional and can be affected by man.  One condition that we have already observed is how man deals with sin.  We can infer from the words of David that God is also predisposed to manifest His temporal compassion towards His children who delight in the law of God!

        We can see that this was true in the Old Testament, but it is equally as true in the New Testament.

John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, `If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him."

If you want to experience God's love and compassion, you must delight in, i.e. read, study, memorize, meditate on and obey God's Word!!!  The written, living, Word of God is so important to knowing and having a relationship with the living, personal Word of God, Jesus Christ!

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Isaiah 54:7, "For a brief moment I forsook you, But with great compassion I will gather you."

Observation 3.21:  Here is a promise, From Jehovah God, that He will gather Israel from her dispersion among the nations with great compassion.  We have already covered the interpretation and the application, but it bears repeating.  We covered this interpretation and application way back in

Observation 1.13:  God's anger and its demonstration, i.e. His forsaking of Israel, the hiding of His face from Israel, etc., is momentary, but His lovingkindness (hesed) and its ultimate demonstration, compassion, is everlasting.  This is stated again in the next verse

Isaiah 54:8, "`In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,' Says the Lord your Redeemer."

and in

Psalm 30:5, "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."

If you have ever experienced the anger of God it will seem like an eternity, but it is only momentary.  Joy, lovingkindness and compassion will be everlasting.  Try to remember that?

        To those of us who are His children through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, these promises to Israel only remind us of His promise to us

Hebrews 13:5, "Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, `I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."

2 Corinthians 4:17-18, "For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

I know that the trial or affliction that you are facing does not seem momentary and light at the time.  Eternity can seem to be captured in the moment of some experiences, but when weighed against the eternal weight of glory they will seem insignificant!


        All of us would rather enjoy life's blessings than face its trials.  Yet both are part of our lives, and our heavenly Father knows exactly how much of each is appropriate for us.  Everything He allows into our lives comes from His heart of love.

        Here is how one writer has described the balance between mercy and discipline.  "The Christian life is like the dial of a clock.  The hands are God's hands, passing over and over again--the short hand of discipline and the long hand of mercy.  Slowly and surely the hand of discipline must pass, and God speaks at each stroke.  But over and over passes the hand of mercy, showering down a twelvefold blessing for each stroke of discipline and trial.  Both hands are fastened to one secure pivot:  the great unchanging heart of our God of love."

Perhaps this is what Paul is teaching in

2 Timothy 2:11-13, "It is a trustworthy statement:  For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him; If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.'"

Perhaps Jesus denies us, i.e. Christians, in anger by allowing us to suffer some of the consequences of our sinful ways, but if we are faithless, He remains faithful:  He cannot deny Himself.  He cannot deny His nature!  He cannot deny His steadfast covenant love!!!

        God is teaching me a great deal about boundaries right now.  Bonding and boundaries go together.  God bonds us to Himself in lovingkindness, but He is able to bond us to Himself because He knows who He is.  He knows the difference between Him and you.  He knows the difference between Himself and His creation.  This is why God perpetually declares who He is by declaring His boundaries.  We are learning the nature of God, i.e. the very personality of God by looking at His boundaries.  His boundaries are declared by what He likes and dislikes, what He chooses and rejects, what He feels, what He thinks, what He wants, what His attributes are, etc.  He says through all of these things:  "This is Me and This is not Me!"  So, you can understand better now the reason for this series.

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Isaiah 63:7, "I shall make mention of the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, According to all that the Lord has granted us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which He has granted them according to His compassion, And according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses."

Observation 3.22:  Here we see a prayer or confession of a remnant of the children of Israel.

        There are several truths that we need to learn from this observation.  (1) God always reserves a remnant unto Himself.  He is never left without someone to praise His name.  (2) This remnant doesn't mind praying, confessing and magnifying the compassion of the Lord!

        Thank God that although the visible church looks decimated, God always reserves a remnant to Himself.  I believe that we, The House of the Lord, are a part of that remnant.  As a part of that remnant, we should not mind praising, confessing and magnifying the compassion of the Lord.

Psalm 107:2, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary."

        In this prayer or confession of the remnant of Israel, we also see that God's goodness towards the house of Israel was a grace gift of His Motherly compassion.

        God's goodness to us is always due to His grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Isaiah 63:15, "Look down from heaven, and see from Thy holy and glorious habitation; Where are Thy zeal and Thy mighty deeds?  The stirrings of Thy heart and Thy compassion are restrained toward me."

Observation 3.17:  We have already observed that God's Motherly compassion can be inhibited or prohibited by how His children deal with sin.

(Let's move on quickly to the next Scripture.)

Jeremiah 16:5, "For thus says the Lord, `Do not enter a house of mourning, or go to lament or to console them; for I have withdrawn My peace from this people,' declares the Lord, `My lovingkindness and compassion.'"

Observation 3.17:  We have already discussed this.  Obviously, Jehovah God is talking about the temporal manifestations of His lovingkindness, not His absolute, intransitive, unconditional, eternal lovingkindness and compassion.

(Let's move on the the next Scripture.)

Jeremiah 42:12, "I will also show you compassion, so that he (the king of Babylon) will have compassion on you and restore you to your own soil."

Observation 3.6:  We have already studied the fact that only God, no one else, can render a person or a nation as objects of compassion.

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Daniel 1:9, "Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials."

Observation 3.8:  We have already studied the fact that the only legitimate basis for requesting mercy from God and the only legitimate basis for His answer is His Own grace!!!  This is constantly repeated in the Bible.

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Daniel 9:9, "To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him."

Observation 3.23:  In this intercessory prayer of Daniel, on behalf of the nation of Israel, He identifies himself with the sins of his people 32 times.  He approaches God on the basis of His steadfast, absolute, intransitive, covenant, unconditional, eternal love.  During this prayer of confession, he states that compassion and forgiveness belong to God.  God is both the originator and continual source of compassion and forgiveness.

        When we turn to God for Motherly compassion and forgiveness, we can be assured that He is the right one to turn to because He created and continually dispenses both.

1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

 We never deserve forgiveness.  It is the gift of God.

        No one in our life deserves forgiveness, it must be your gracious gift on the basis of God's gift to you!

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Daniel 9:18, "O my God, incline Thine ear and hear!  Open Thine eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Thy great compassion."

Observation 3.24:  As we have noted in David and in others, Daniel bases his prayer on God's great compassion, not his own merits.

(Let's move on to the next Scripture.)

Hosea 2:19, "And I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion."

Observation 1.2:  We have already seen that God's immanent, absolute, intransitive, eternal, lovingkindness and compassion are unconditional and based upon God's own sovereign choice.  His marriage to Israel is based upon His holiness and His lovingkindness.  Righteousness and justice are manfestations of the holiness of God.  His marriage to Israel is holy, because He has paid the price for her.  His marriage to Israel is also based upon His lovingkindness, which is manifested in His compassion.

        His salvific marriage to us is also based upon His character.

(Let's move on to the final Scripture for today.)

Zechariah 1:16, "Therefore, thus says the Lord, `I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it,' declares the Lord of hosts, `and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.'"

Observation 1.2:  God will continue to work with Israel, through the millennium and into eternity, on the basis of His absolute compassion.

        Probably the three most prominent observations in todays study are:  (1) the new observation that God's temporal compassion seems to be conditioned upon our delight in the Word of God;  (2) His anger is momentary, but His compassion is eternal; and (3) We are reminded over and over again that God's lovingkindness and compassion are absolute, unconditional and eternal.  He keeps repeating this for us to hear.  Listen and write this down.  God has had me studying relationships for a long time and I have learned many things.  I have learned that God is relationship.  I have learned that when we accept Jesus Christ, we are born into the family of God with a heavenly Father/Mother and brothers and sisters.  I have learned that love and compassion should be the atmosphere of these relationships.  We have a need to hear that we are loved over and over.  We have a need to hear that we are accepted over and over again.  We have a need to know that we are secure over and over again.  When that occurs there is an indestructible bond created.  Jehovah God keeps saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love!  I have accepted you in the Beloved!  I will never leave you nor forsake you.  And we are bonded to Him for all of eternity.

        I know from my life experience and the hundreds that I have counseled over the past 18 years, that very few ever experience this kind of love and bonding.  I have gone around and purposely cultivated this for as many people as I can get to.  I tell them over and over again, "I love you unconditionally."  I tell them over and over again, "I accept you for who you are."  I tell them over and over again, "I am not going anywhere."  But I have very seldom been able to cultivate that kind of response towards me.  We don't understand the need of humanity.  We don't understand that things must be repeated and demonstrated constantly.  "But thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"  He loves us with an everlasting love and constantly demonstrates it by being compassionate towards us.

(Now is the day of Salvation.  Come to Jesus, now!)


Call to Discipleship

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