Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Coffee With Calvin

Genesis 42:21

The Importance of Mercy

Joseph’s brothers acknowledge that it is by the just judgment of God that they obtained nothing from Joseph, now ruling in Egypt by their begging, because they themselves had acted so cruelly towards their brother in the past. Christ had not yet uttered the sentence, “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2), but it is a dictate of nature that they who have been cruel to others are unworthy of sympathy. We ought to be more careful that we do not prove deaf to the many threats of Scripture on this matter. Dreadful is that condemnation that “if a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13).

Therefore, while we have time, let us learn to exercise humanity, to sympathize with the miserable, and to stretch out our hand to give assistance. But if at any time it happens that we are treated roughly by others and our cries for pity are proudly rejected by them, then, at least, let us ask whether we ourselves have in anything acted unkindly towards others. For although it is best to be wise beforehand, it is, nevertheless, of some advantage to us to reflect whether, when others proudly despise us, those with whom we have to deal have not experienced similar hardships from us. Moreover, their cruelty was hateful to God because—since his goodness is dispersed through heaven and earth, and his beneficence is extended not only to people, but even to brute animals—nothing is more contrary to his nature than that we should cruelly reject those who implore our protection.

Readings taken from Day by Day With John Calvin


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