#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
Our verse for today is Psalm 103: 17 – 18 (KJV): But the mercy of the LORD [is] from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
God Loves everybody, – Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Transgender, Black, White, Hispanic, Single, Married, Murderer, Adulterer, Fornicator, Orphaned, Poor, Drug Addict – there is nobody that God wants to perish.
However, Although God loves everyone, God’s mercy is not with everyone. God’s love and mercy is only with those who fear Him, keep His covenant and obey His precepts. In Daniel 3: 16 – 29, we see a clear demonstration of the mercy of God and His loving providence in the lives of those who feared Him and remembered to keep His precepts in the most difficult of times.
 – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual  and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.  So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,  and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”  He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.  Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
This very passage illustrates that God’s love and mercy abounds with those who obey his precepts, who fear him and are righteous in His sight. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have easily agreed to bow down to the idol and asked God for forgiveness later but instead they chose to serve God till the end. How many of us are capable of such obedience even until the last minute? If terrorists were at our door, could we keep God’s covenant and precepts till the end? It is such trust and courage that attracts the mercy of God on our lives.
Another wonderful example is in Daniel 6:7-26 where God delivered Daniel from the Lion’s den. Daniel was aware that the decree had been signed that anyone who prayed to another god would be thrown into the Lion’s den, yet he did not fear or hide to pray, he threw open his windows as usual and prayed to the living God, that is a clear example of remembering to keep the precepts of the Lord.
If we want the mercy and love of God to be with us and not just have God love us from afar then we must be righteous in His sight, we must obey His covenants and Keep His precepts, so that His mercy and love will be from everlasting to everlasting towards us as in Psalm 103:17-18!
We always examine these two stories from the perspective of the individuals who risked their lives, but as we meditate on Psalm 103: 17-18 today, let’s take a look at it from God’s point of view. What God saw in those stories were people who chose to abide by His word, who kept His precepts and commandments. God saw people who were deserving of His mercy! If you read on you discover that the kings in those stories proclaimed God as the only Living God who can save and that only He should be worshipped all through the land. Therefore, through the actions of mortals, our immortal God was exalted throughout a nation.
As we meditate today, let’s ask ourselves, what can we do today to attract God’s mercy? We all need God’s mercy in one way or the other. No matter how extraordinary or how little, simply being steadfast in righteousness and abiding by God’s precepts and keeping His covenants will attract God’s attention along with His mercy, love and providence.
Pray this prayer:
Lord, I want your love, mercy and providence,
I am willing to Receive what you Send
Lack what you Withhold
Relinquish what you Take
Suffer what you Inflict
Do what you Command
Be what you Require.
In Jesus Name. (Amen)