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God's Great Mercy

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 15

Scripture Focus: Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. (1 Samuel 15.6)

Devotional Thought: The Amalekites had shown themselves to be irreconcilable enemies to Israel (Exodus 17). The Kenites - who were living among the Amalekites - were warned ahead of time, so that they might escape the coming destruction. These Kenites had shown kindness to Israel during their journey from Egypt through the wilderness. They heeded Saul’s warning, and escaped the judgment that came upon the Amalekites who were utterly destroyed.

Judgment like this may sound extreme to us, until we consider the fact that we are all deserving of death, for indeed, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The truly remarkable thing, is that God has extended the grace to spare any of us from the judgment we all deserve.

We see God’s great mercy over and over again in Scripture – He spares Noah’s family from the flood, Lot’s family from the firestorm that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, Rahab and her family from the destruction of Jericho, the Kenites from the judgment of Amalek.

And, we see it most clearly in the death and resurrection of Jesus, “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (Titus 2:14). When you put your faith in him, “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). Rejoice today in the Lord’s great mercy!

Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you are a kind and merciful God. When people reject you, they must do so over your objections and in spite of your reaching out to them. I praise you for your great love! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 78.56-64

56 Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God

and did not keep his testimonies,

57 but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;

they twisted like a deceitful bow.

58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places;

they moved him to jealousy with their idols.

59 When God heard, he was full of wrath,

and he utterly rejected Israel.

60 He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,

the tent where he dwelt among mankind,

61 and delivered his power to captivity,

his glory to the hand of the foe.

62 He gave his people over to the sword

and vented his wrath on his heritage.

63 Fire devoured their young men,

and their young women had no marriage song.

64 Their priests fell by the sword,

and their widows made no lamentation.

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