This morning, I skipped through a bunch of the Old Testament Minor Prophets. A lot of people avoid reading them. Usually, it's because they are difficult to understand. Some of them were speaking of their current events, and to a people we don't really understand. Others consider the OT harsh and have a hard time grasping some of it. Of course, prophetic utterances like we see in the OT can be quite puzzling too. But I love them!
Throughout Isaiah and Jeremiah, there are some pretty harsh sayings. Jeremiah cries out for God's people to repent and warns them of impending judgments. Isaiah prophesies in riddles, but we can see he talks about the coming Messiah, etc. Ezekial hardly makes any sense at all for most of us. Then there are the minor prophets Nahum, Micah, etc. They are short, sweet, and somewhat confusing. But there are some real treasures in there for those who have the gumption to dig!
So why do I love reading them? I think it's because throughout all of the Old Testament there are threads of mercy and grace. In the midst of all the stories that tell the history of our faith, we'll see hints of God's mercy if we look hard enough. Even in the craziest stories, we can find His mercy and grace.
I think back to Rahab the harlot - she eventually married, so we assume she was no longer a harlot, right? She's the first of four women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Here she was, harboring God's spies. Why? Because she believed that God was going to win, and she wanted to be on His team. God saved her and her family because of her faith, no matter what her lifestyle had been. The spies could have easily said they didn't want to stay at her house. After all, what would people think? But mercy and grace stepped in because of her faith.
I could go on with numerous other stories that demonstrate God's threads of mercy and grace. Instead, I encourage you to take a moment to look at your own life and situation. Try to identify those threads right where you are. His grace and mercy are always extended; He never withdraws them from us. They've always been there - even under the old law. Some days, I have to look harder than others to see them - but threads of grace and mercy run through our every day lives.
Today, I will choose to look for and focus on His threads of grace and mercy. I'll take a few minutes to look back at how they have been there on life's journey. My meditations will be on how His grace carries me gently through life and life's storms. I will trust Him to do that again today. Will you join me?
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