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Isaiah 15:1-18:7
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
(Exodus 33:19 KJV)

For the past two days the above verse has been in my head as I read through the day’s readings. God chose Israel out of all the nations. In fact Israel was not Israel until after Abraham and Isaac. It was Jacob, the son and grandson of Abe and Isaac, who God chose to change his name from Jacob, supplanter, to Israel, “he will rule as God.”

Mercy is freely given, but Mercy must be paired with Truth. (Psalm 85:10) Reading the Prophets, as well as Israel’s history we can be tempted to think of God as being mean and vengeful in the Old Testament and loving and merciful in the New; but the scripture says that God doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Mal. 3:6; Heb 13:8). Mercy is unmerited favor, it isn’t’ earned and we cannot buy it. Mercy is freely given. So if Mercy is freely given and is unearned, then no one deserves mercy and it can’t be demanded because then it is not given freely. It is a mystery to us, but not to God, why God chooses to show His grace, favor and mercy on some and not to others

I know that I have experienced and been the recipient of God’s Mercy and I thank God that He chose me, little sinful me, and called me by name.

Galatians 1:1-24

I have an e-mail signature that says, “Change is not change until it’s changed.” Paul also is a man of change and uses changed lives, specifically his changed life, to validate that he is indeed an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although trained under the great Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) to be an outstanding Pharisee, Paul does not use his “seminary” training to validate who he is and the authority he has to preach the gospel, but he uses his changed life and the changed lives of those he has ministered to.

Do others see a change in my life? Have I allowed the mercy that God showed toward me effect such a change in my life that others see Jesus in me. Am I a living epistle revealing the mercy and truth of Jesus Christ? Can I sing truthfully, “Jesus on the inside working on the outside, O, what a change in my life!”

Psalm 58:1-11

Justice--do you rulers know the meaning of the word?
Do you judge the people fairly?

This Psalm begins with an introduction, “For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune Do Not Destroy!” Hmmm, if this song was song in the temple, which it probably was, then those who sang it or heard it sung would include the rulers over Israel—priests, scribes, the Levites, and in Jesus’ day, Pharisees and Sadducees.

My pastor and many others will say at least once in his message, “Turn to your neighbor and say …” He does this, he says, because we become committed to and accountable for the words we speak out of our mouths. Using that same concept or truth the leaders and rulers over Israel were passing judgment on themselves every time they sang this song if they were not ruling the people with justice. Jesus said,

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
(Matthew 12:37 NET.)

Proverbs 23:12

It takes hard work to gain knowledge. In truth we really don’t want to work for it we would rather someone just open our brains and poor the information in. But in God’s economy of scale we must work to get the key to knowledge. Ask, seek and knock.

Grace and peace,

I think, Mike, that the beauty of what you are doing is that it sets the mind to thinking more on what was read this morning. Sometimes we have a tendency to read it and forget it. You get one to pondering a bit more on just what was meant by what we read. Also, your referrals to other sources gives opportunity to dig deeper. I thank God that you have given so much thought to this Bible blog. HUGS!

Mike, what you are doing is helping those who have not understood the bible be able to see it in a way that is a part of our daily lives. Please continue this for the thousands of people around the
world each day who depend on you. Blessings, Shar

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