Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crying Out For Mercy

More from The Bruised Reed

The bruising is necessary prior to conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts that and that we may understand ourselves to be shat we are indeed by nature...It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the Judge.

Sibbes lived in a different era. Corporal punishment was much more the norm of the penal system at that time. In our era, we lack understanding regarding any need to “cry out for mercy”. We are far more familiar with the “cry out” for rights. We even cry out for the rights of the most vile criminals and protect those rights within our laws. Fairness is paramount in our society. It would be abhorrent for most of us to hear a criminal cry out for mercy while being beaten at the hands of a judge, even if he was guilty. That is unfair! Right are being violated! However, we are not talking about fairness when we talk about God being a judge. We are talking about perfection. There is no appeal to fairness when perfection is determining the justice. To cry out to God for rights in light of His perfection and His just wrath only demonstrates a lack of awareness of your own state. Once you know that you are truly guilty, beyond a doubt, deserving punishment, under the view of an all knowing, perfectly just God - you quickly realize that an appeal for fairness will be your demise. Only fools would appeal for fairness in this situation. Your only recourse is an appeal for mercy.

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