ODJ: Fireworks and Mercy

October 27, 2016 

READ: Psalm 103:6-18 

He knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust (v.14).

Setting off fireworks after a home team hits a home run is nothing new in pro baseball stadiums, but igniting fireworks after the visiting team hits a homer? No way! But in a game between two major league baseball teams, after a player on the visiting team hit a baseball over the outfield fence for a home run, the fireworks guy mistakenly pushed a button that created a spectacular pyrotechnic display.

A video of the unidentified fireworks guy being booed and trying to hide his shame behind his hat went viral. Surprisingly, the home team chose not to heap more shame on their employee. They tweeted a clip from the movie Dumb and Dumber in which Jim Carrey says: “Pardon me, Mr. Perfect! I guess I forgot you never make a mistake!”

Similar to that home team, we have a heavenly Father who shows us love and mercy—not condemnation. When David wrote Psalm 103, he described God as a merciful and compassionate Father (v.8). Despite human inconsistency, God extends His grace to us (Numbers 14:18; Psalm 86:15). This steadfast love didn’t eliminate God’s righteous anger, but it limited it (103:4,8,11). His love bridged the great chasm between Himself and those who do not know Him. The reason for God’s mercy toward us is because He’s aware of our frailty and limitations (v.14). Instead of heaping shame on us, He lovingly provides our rescue.

Unlike the fireworks guy, we’ve all intentionally “set off fireworks” of sin that make us want to hide from God— feeling fear, guilt, and condemnation. But our heavenly Father doesn’t condemn us; He has mercy on us. In response to His mercy, let’s admit our frailty, receive our Father’s steadfast love, and, as His children, choose to obey Him out of love.

—Marvin Williams

365-day plan: Acts 12:1-25

Read 1 John 1:9 and consider what God provides for those who turn to Him in repentance. 
In what ways can you identify with the fireworks guy? How does it make you feel to know that God understands your human frailty and has mercy on you?