Happy Easter! I can’t believe that Lent is over and we are already into Easter but it was so early this year. And, it’s not very often that Andrew’s birthday comes after Lent since his birthday is March 31!
Now, what did you think of the session 2 bible study? It wrestles with why/how God withholds or grants mercy. This is tough to answer because we certainly cannot understand the mind of God. Father Mitch points out how many people and cities were slaughtered while the Israelites took possession of the Promised Land.
In talking about the judgement against Israel’s former rulers, Father Mitch says that their judgement comes from “the lack of mercy shown to the Lord’s heritage, Israel” (pg 38). He goes on to say, “the nation that does not show mercy to the defeated Israel will find no mercy from God” (pg 39).
Those are strong words and they brought to mind the words from the Gospel, “For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you” (Matthew 7:2)
Of course, God is not a tit-for-tat God who keeps nitpicking track of every action and word we say and do against another person. However, how we treat others does matter. It matters a great deal and the scriptures that we read for this session show us that in a big way.
When Israel was held captive by the Babylonians and others, they were treated cruelly and mercilessly. Their rules showed no mercy and thus received no mercy when they were finally conquered. From the lens of our world view, it seems so harsh and it is hard to understand why God would not only allow, but demand the destruction of those people. However, the world was (obviously) very different back then. The society was a physically violent one and the only think I can think of to reconcile this is that God accepted them where they were at, used it to bring them forward.
We see a progression in the bible, and in our own lives. The understanding of God, and of His mercy, had to grow, albeit, slowly until Jesus shows us the true mercy and love of God. And, we are still growing in that understanding.
This was a tough session to work though. What about you? What struck you about this lesson? Do share in the comments.
Tweetable: Mercy Bible Study: Session 2 Reflection