Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The True Nature of God: Compassion and Comfort

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort," (2 Corinthians 1: 3)

Most people have a hard view of God.

They seem Him as punitive, arbitrary, uncaring, looking for every opportunity to punish people when they fail.

That is just not true.

The most notorious account in the Old Testament, the global flood, does not show a God who wanted to wipe out man, but rather a Father who wanted to protect the true stock of man, so that the Serpent-Slayer, the Messiah, would come into the world and bring salvation to all:

1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6: 1-5)
These mighty men were not human beings, but mutants, half-angel and half-man, demonic creatures waging nothing but evil.
Then God found Noah, the only human being left:
"8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." (Genesis 6: 8-9)
In this passage "perfect" speaks of physical perfection, in that Noah was not contaminated, not of mixed "fallen angel" heritage.
Even the rainbow which appeared in Genesis 9 appeals to God's true nature:
"11And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth." (Genesis 9: 11-13)
God was actively seeking to make a covenant, to make peace, to create a means for prospering all of mankind, which He continued with Abraham:
"1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12: 1-3)

This promise speaks of Jesus!
Throughout the Old Testament, we find the picture of God as gracious, compassionate, and comforting:

"The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." (Psalm 145: 8)
"He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion." (Psalm 111: 4)


"For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." (Isaiah 51: 3)


"I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;" (Isaiah 51: 12)

God's true nature is compassion and comfort, perfectly presented to us through His Son, Jesus!

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace," (2 Thessalonians 2:16)

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