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Thursday: Mercy and Faithfulness — 9 Comments

  1. Jesus saved his greatest condemnation for the hypocritical religious; the Pharisees. Matthew 23 is perhaps the most condemnatory of passage of scripture. When I am feeling religiously proud, Matthew 23 makes pretty tough reading. I regard myself as a conservative Christian and I have worked most of my life as an academic in a Seventh-day Adventist institution, so I fit into the demographic that Jesus is talking to. Listen to this:

    Woe unto you, academics and Seventh-day Adventists, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Matt 23:27 (Ashton's Version)

    Does your Bible say that? I need to read that version of the chapter when I am complacently smug about my religion and status. It should be enough to kick start me into doing something deeply spiritual, think of others and care for those who desperately need the love of Jesus in their lives.

    Not long after this condemnation Jesus describes the judgement scene thus:

    And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat:
    I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
    I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    Naked, and ye clothed me:
    I was sick, and ye visited me:
    I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee?
    or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?
    or naked, and clothed thee?
    Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt 25: 33-40

    • Maurice,

      Thank you for this comment. I find your ideas encouraging and helpful. The fact that you can be honest about yourself means a lot to me and gives me hope and joy.

    • It is very good to read opinions of people who have the courage and "face without a mask" of title, job or any other fitting box. We all need to stop being hypocrites! Because we all judge others! Do we use the same measure judging ourselves? We really should live by Jesus saying in Matt 7:3,
      "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"

    • Our political situations today are very relatable to our Sabbath school lessons. Our leaders whether political or religious will have much to answer to our Lord for the treatment of the poor, the sick and immigrants. But we also will have to answer to the Lord if we support and glorify those leaders who not only neglect but abuse or oppress the least of these. Many today have walked away from the Christian Churches because of the hypocrisy of the Church leaders and those who call themselves Christians.

  2. 1Kgs 21 begins with the story of Naboth, who owned a vineyard next to the palace of King Ahab at Jezreel. To grow vegetables, the king offered to buy Naboth’s vineyard or exchange it for a better one. Naboth flatly refused.
    Instead of using his royal prerogatives to expropriate Naboth, the king returned home to sulk until Queen Jezebel had Naboth convicted on false charges and stoned to death.
    Ahab seized the vineyard, but the prophet Elijah stepped in to foretell the downfall of Ahab’s dynasty.
    Naboth is a helpless victim of the capitalist greed denounced by courageous prophets, and the story illustrates God’s love for the weak.

  3. Thanks Dr.Mourice for the beautiful piece!
    David knows that he cannot save himself, he is a man of blood - he has the blood of many people on his hands, both rightly and wrongly; rightly like the Philistine giant Goliath and wrongly like his faithful solider Uriah the Hittite, who David had had killed to cover his adultery with Uriah's wife Bathsheba. What's David like? David the Hero? Yes, but also David the selfish, David the abuser of his God given authority, David the Murderer, David the Adulterer, David the thief, David the Liar, David the Greedy, David the poor Fig Tree: David was all these things and yet... Acts calls Him "a man after [God's own] heart."[5] How can this be? Peter calls David this because in the midst of David's trouble and sin, David wants to do better, he is repentant. David sees the contrast between the evil of man and the goodness of God, he's tormented by how evil men can be and at the same time he hopes in the perfect goodness of the LORD. David even in the midst of his sin desires after this goodness of God, and when - in his life - he is blind to it and is reminded of God's goodness in light of his own sin David quickly repents and turns back to the LORD.[6] David writes of God, "In Your light do we see light," David knows that the LORD "will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart."[7]

  4. The poor have been placed in close relationship to God's church to prove it. Angels are watching to see how we treat them. This is God's test of our character.

    We need to search for the poor and the hungry and bring them to our houses not for them to look for us.

    Our neighbour is every soul who needs our help and when their wants are brought to our knowledge it is our duty to relieve them as far as possible.

    We are to exalt Sabbath and with this we are to manifest mercy. There is a danger of burrying up the great principles of truth when manifesting mercy.

    True religion consists not in systems creeds or rites but in the performance of loving deeds,in bringing the greatest good to others.

    Pure and undefiled religion is not a sentiment but the doing of the works of mercy and love.

    Satan knows that practical sympathy is a test of purity and he will make every possible effort to close our hearts to the needs of the others that we may finally be unmoved by the sight of suffering.

    True sympathy between man and his fellow man is to be the sign distinguishing those who love and fear God from those who are unmindful of His law.

    Unless there is practical self-sacrifice for the good of the others then whatever our profession we are not christians.

    If we neglect the cases of the needy and the unfortunate that are brought under our notice no matter who they may be, we have no assurance of eternal life.

    ....guess who said all these and in which book.


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