What was King Solomon looking for when he gave such a bizarre and brutal order? Before him were two prostitutes seeking justice…both claiming this baby was theirs. On hearing his order, one agreed with it…while the other, filled with compassion for the child, said, “Please my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” That was the visceral reaction King Solomon was looking for…and he gave the baby to that mother. Our God has that same kind of deep compassion towards us. For He looks upon us as a father looks upon his children…with mercy, tenderness and pity.
In these verses, Jeremiah is looking over the utter destruction of Jerusalem…overwhelmed by the suffering of the people…and realizing it was because of their sin that God had allowed it. But Jeremiah also knew of God’s tremendous capacity for compassion towards His people. For in Isaiah 54: 7-8 God says, ” For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.” Never underestimate God’s compassion to change any situation from dire to miraculous.
One of the pit-falls of any ministry is that we start glorifying ourselves, not God. Pride starts to push itself in…and soon our ego is searching for the limelight and honor. II Corinthians 4:1 states, “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” It’s only because of God’s infinite compassion on us that we have any kind of ministry at all. And it’s only because of the indwelling Holy Spirit empowering us that we can act as ambassadors, representing our Lord. When a ministry glorifies God…and not our egos, good things happen.
We humans have such short memories. When life is going well…we put God in the corner – kind of like disaster insurance…there just in case we need it. And when we get ourselves in trouble, we call out to Him for help…only to quickly forget again when life quiets down. This roller coaster ride isn’t what God desires for us. He wants to be our focus in good times and bad…in happiness and sadness…in calm and chaos.
No matter how we work and strive to live a perfect life…we’ll never come close. For in Titus 3:5 it says, “He saved us not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy.” God’s wonderful and unexplainable mercy is gifted to us before we are even aware of our need. Malachi 1:2-3 states, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” To further illustrate this profound concept, Jesus tells us in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” The Lord’s compassion and kindness towards us is beyond our mental capacity…His desire to save us, beyond our comprehension.
Compassion towards others…in the world today, it may be a little difficult to find at times. We are so very concerned about ourselves and our needs, that we don’t even take the time to be kind to the check out clerk at the store, or the elderly person struggling with the heavy grocery sacks in the parking lot. But the Lord will judge us according to our mercy, or lack there of. His mercy in judgment of us will be based on how merciful we were to others while on this earth…to the degree we were merciful, He will be towards us.