But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (Nehemiah 9:31)
What a great privilege it is to serve a merciful God!
Nehemiah writes about God's "great mercy" towards his chosen ones. Despite their unfaithfulness and stubbornness, God did not put an end to them or abandon them.
He did punish them for their rebellion, but did not put an end to them or abandon them.
His promise to "never leave nor forsake" remains true even for us. No doubt, as believers in Jesus Christ, he disciplines us for our sins, yet he shows mercy.
Do not fear that the Lord will abandon you, even if you have strayed from him. He is the one who leaves the 99 faithful sheep in the open country and goes searching for the one lost.
Luke, the Physician writes,
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' (Luke 15:4-6)
O lost sheep, your Shepherd seeks you. And when he finds you, he intends to joyfully put you on his shoulder and rejoice; so great is his mercy.
Good Shepherd Jesus, we love you, for you are a gracious and merciful God.
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
Adam and Eve, who realized they were naked after they disobeyed God and had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, were clothed by God for the first time with garments of skin. God cared for them even though they had disobeyed him.
In his righteous judgement, he drove them out from the garden of Eden, but before sending them away, he showed them that he still loved them, by clothing them.
The perfectness of their relationship with their Creator was broken, yet it was not severed completely by this loving act of his.
A statement made by Eve after the birth of her first son, points to God maintaining his love and fellowship with them....
Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man." (Genesis 4:1)
No doubt she must have gone through pain during labor as said earlier by God; nevertheless, she acknowledged that it was God who helped her bring forth a child.
The love of God clothes us with Christ and salvation, on believing in Jesus' atoning work on the cross.
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9, 10)
In that day; "Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it."(Isaiah 27:2, 3)
God desires that his chosen ones be fruitful; that his church be a fruitful vineyard; so He watches over it, waters it and guards it. In a world filled with chaos and confusion, God's vineyard is kept safe by God, despite furious and repeated attacks of the enemy.
Everyday thousands accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the Church is growing. God waters the Church by His Word spoken by His servants. The Holy Spirit watches over the church and the angels of God guard it day and night. There are constant wars in the heavenly's involving the body of believer's with Satan and his cohorts fighting against the angels of God. Sometimes the Church suffers loss, but the Church remains strong, protected by the blood of the Lamb.
We are to be a fruitful vineyard to the Lord, not warring against each other, but following God's greatest command to love each other, despite our differences in doctrines.
Jesus emphasized this when he spoke about him being the "True Vine" in John Ch.15...
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
This is my command: Love each other. (John 15:17)
God's desires regarding His Vineyard will be fulfilled and His name will be glorified forever; that's for sure. As branches of the "True Vine- Jesus", let's be fruitful at all times.
But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" The man said, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."(Genesis 3:9-13)
4 questions were asked by Almighty God, the Righteous Judge, to his first human creations.
3 to Adam....
"Where are you?"
"Who told you that you were naked?
"Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
1 to Eve....
"What is this you have done?"
There was no justifiable answer; Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, but none of it could save them from being removed from their perfect environment. God pronounced curses upon the serpent, Satan, Adam, Eve and the earth. The sufferings of mankind began then and continues. Jesus Christ came to set mankind free from the curses upon them and those who believe in his atoning sacrifice on the cross are set free. Yet while they live on earth, there are sufferings. Summing this up,Paul, the Apostle writing to the Romans says,
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:22, 23)
O, What a glorious day that will be when we achieve the redemption of our bodies. Hallelujah!