June 8: Redemption and Spiritual Revival

I don’t usually post anything that specifically addresses current events.  However my heart is aching as Tel Aviv prepares for its 10th Gay Pride Parade.  The media and bloggers are all anticipating “antics” which should make all of us blush.  But many don’t blush, and instead actually join in the festivities.

More than being a God of love, He IS the very standard, or definition of love.   More than being tolerant, He loves all people; but He is intolerant of certain behavior.

But the story doesn’t end with His intolerance, but with His forgiveness.

In Psalm 86, there are two words that are translated as mercy.  The first  (חנן) is defined “looking with favor, grace.”  It is the look of the bridegroom when he first sees his bride.  The second is (חסד) which is best defined as “covenantal lovingkindness.”  God’s love is based on His faithfulness to His covenant, not on our merit.  God loves the world so much that He offers His covenant of forgiveness to all.

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Isaiah 55:7: Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts; 
let him return to the Lord,
 and He will have mercy on him;
 and to our God,
 for He will abundantly pardon.

Psalm 86:1-5: Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; 
for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy;
 You are my God;
 save Your servant who trusts in You!  Be merciful (חנן) to me, O Lord,
for I cry to You all day long.  Rejoice the soul of Your servant, for to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
and abundant in mercy (חסד) to all those who call upon You.

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