Mercy -- Minutes with Marie

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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:30 pm

Mercy -- Minutes with Marie

Unread post by Marie »

I sometimes hear that the God of the Old Testament is a hard, unforgiving God, and that mercy begins in the New Testament. I disagree. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Consider Aaron.

Aaron was Moses’ brother. He saw God miraculously release His people from Egypt. He saw the people walk through the sea. He ate manna sent from heaven. He saw that God was completely faithful and could be trusted to care for them.

But forty days after Moses left to go up the mountain with God, Aaron did a really horrible thing. He listened to the people. He made an idol that looked like a calf. When the people said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4), I think Aaron realized he better do something quickly. Things were getting out of hand! So he tried a compromise; he built an altar in front of the calf and said, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD” (Exodus 32:5). And the next day the people sacrificed and ate and drank and had a wild party.

Of course God is a jealous God (jealous because He loves us and knows He is best for us). He is not about to share His glory. Moses returned to the scene, and God judged the people.

How could Aaron, a leader of God’s people, betray God after all he had seen? Would you trust Aaron, who formed the golden calf, to be a spiritual leader to God’s people?

Eight chapters later (Exodus 40) God tells Moses to bring Aaron and his sons to the tabernacle, wash them with water, put sacred garments on them, and anoint and consecrate them as His priests – not because of their righteousness, but because of God’s mercy. God had something important for Aaron to do – be a priest, a spiritual leader. And just maybe, because Aaron had experienced God’s amazing mercy and a “second chance,” Aaron had an even deeper love for God.

He’s mentioned again later: “So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD commanded through Moses” (Leviticus 8:36). This time around, after experiencing God’s mercy, Aaron chose obedience.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
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Re: Mercy -- Minutes with Marie

Unread post by manyblessings »

I love this illustration. I have heard several people at my church assert that mercy started in the New Testament-thank you for this concrete example showing that God has always been, and will always be, merciful.
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