The Lord did not call the leprosy to return and seize again upon the man who disobeyed him. He did not wrap the self-confident seeing men in the cloud of their old darkness because they wrapped themselves in the cloud of disobedience. He let them go. Of course they failed of their well-being by it; for to say a man might disobey and be none the worse, would be to say that light might sometimes be darkness, that the will of God is not man’s bliss. But the Lord did not directly punish them, any more than he does tens of thousands of wrongs in the world. Many wrongs punish themselves, and it is his will it should be so; but, whether he punish directly or indirectly, he is always working to deliver. I think sometimes his anger is followed, yea, accompanied by an astounding gift, fresh from his heart of grace. He is love when he gives, and love when he withholds; love when he heals, and love when he slays. Lord, if thus thou lookest upon men in thine anger, what must a full gaze be from thine eyes of love!
by Jolyn Canty
My heart is always awakened and stirred when I read MacDonald. He draws me to the reality of God being just yet being Love itself. In today’s devotional, he tenderly reminds us that that God is just and requires that justice, in the absence of repentance, must be fulfilled. He frequently grants mercy, but mercy is never absent of justice; all disobedience requires repentance, and mercy is never cheap or to be assumed. But His righteous anger is “followed, yea, accompanied by an astounding gift, fresh from his heart of grace.” He is always “working to deliver” us from ourselves, and it is displeasing to Him when someone refuses to acknowledge His efforts by not repenting. And because He is love, MacDonald’s final statement is worth much pondering: “Lord, if thus thou lookest upon men in thine anger, what must a full gaze be from thine eyes of love!”
As C.S. Lewis so eloquently wrote in God in The Dock, “Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice: transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety.”
Please enjoy this lovely worship song about His mercy: