Mark 6:1-29; 2 Samuel 15; Daniel 9
We have this fascination for seeing people get what they deserve, don’t we? We don’t want that to happen to us, but we sure want to see the other person get what they deserve. As Daniel was looking at the calendar and thinking about the plight of the Israelites, he realized that the time that God would restore His people was near. He then did the most natural thing – for him. He prayed. As He prayed he made an important point: “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” (Daniel 9:9) He realized that the restoration of Israel was an act of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The exile was deserved because of the sins of the people. Restoration of Israel was not deserved, because the people continued their sin in Babylon – but to God belongs mercy and forgiveness and He would show it to His people Israel because that’s His nature. Too often, we live by our nature and rebel against God. God’s plan is that we might have our fellowship with Him restored. The amazing thing about God is that He makes that restoration available to all people. Instead of punishing each and every one of us for our sins, the punishment was paid by Jesus on the cross. All we need to do is turn to Him and accept His free gift. God restores our relationship to Him as if the rebellion had never happened – and He never stops.
Lord, I have rebelled against You and gone my own way. I did it before I knew You and I still do it today. Thank You for being a God of mercy and forgiveness. Thank You for continually restoring my relationship with You. Let my life reflect that mercy and forgiveness to others.