September 24, 2008

I desire Mercy not Sacrifice.

Thanks again to my sister Becky for her thoughts yesterday that I posted on my blog.

Wednesday morning, not quite as early as Tuesday's post. Today is the last day of ACU Summit, it has been great this year. I have never come away so inspired. I am looking forward to the photography and missions class today, it is called Oculus Dei, I am no greek student, but I think that means the eye of God, or maybe what God see's. I bet I will find out today.
Rick Atchley is hitting it out of the ballpark at 1:30, he is speaking from the Text of Amos. One of my sweet friends Sug asked me yesterday, what he was going to do for his last presentation today, because it seems like it just can't get any better. The Word of the Lord is the superstar, it is just nice to have someone look at it through open eyes and not be afraid how to translate it, it is growing each of us in the session. Amos was called to Israel by God to prophecy for the Israelites, God's chosen people, who had all the rites and traditions figured out but they were not seeking justice. In our culture today we think of justice in the terms of putting criminals in prison, more prisons, more police officers, biblically justice most often means to look out for those oppressed, the poor, those who can not take care of themselves. God says "I desire mercy not sacrifice." When God reprimands His people through His prophets most of the time it is because they are not being merciful to those around them, they are too caught up in their wealth and lifestyle, or maybe like the Pharisees in the New Testament, they were following all the rules but their hearts were hard. God told the Israelites that he would reject their worship and their sacrifices, because they were not taking care of those around them that needed to be taken care of. I also loved Rick's point on the difference between benevolence and justice. Benevolence gives people just enough to get by, justice brings them to a position where they are on level ground and they are able to do for themselves. (I loosely quoted that because I don't have my notes with me).
Some people might read the last sentence above and associate that with a political platform, but Amos is speaking to the hearts of people and what they are doing personally. This is much more personal and a personal call than a platform.
My prayer for myself is that God will forgive me when I have chosen comfort over His people, may I allow His Spirit that dwells in me to be the voice I follow to serve the oppressed and give mercy that I have been given by God.
May I treat all the people around me in accordance with the grace and mercy God has given me, not based on the grace and mercy I am being shown by them.
May God be praised for a week of classes that have helped me see His character in a less distorted way.