Every religious belief has an end goal in mind. As a follower of Christ, the end goal is to dwell with God forever. Interestingly enough, all three passages in today’s readings emphasize that idea. The reading from Psalms is a picture of protection; from Ezekiel a picture of forgiveness and restoration; and from Revelation a picture of retribution and vindication. In all three passages, though, the end result is dwelling with God forever.
As David wrote the 23rd Psalm there is a sense of peace. Even in that peace, though, there is a reminder of God’s mercy. “Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6) It is only through God’s mercy that we can have fellowship with Him. We can bring nothing before Him other than our contrite hearts.
We don’t like to think of needing to appear before God that way. We want to bring God evidence of all of the good things we’ve done. We want to show Him all of our possessions as if that will gain His approval. My granddaughter is like that. We will skype with my son so we can talk to her, and she will spend half of her time running around her house gathering her toys to show us all that she has. Deep down, I think she wants us to know that she is loved because she has all these cool things.
We don’t come before God with anything worthwhile. In Isaiah it says that all of our righteousness is like filthy rags. And when we realize this, we realize that we can bring nothing or do nothing before God to make Him love us and allow us to dwell with Him forever. I can only come to Him because of His mercy and that mercy is freely available because of Jesus Christ. For that, I can thank God….forever.
Lord God, I come before You with nothing. My heart is broken because of sin and I throw myself on Your mercy. Let me experience Your love and mercy and then experience the joy of life with You forever.