Getting To Know God
Jehovah Ra`ah - The Door To Mercy & Goodness
Food For Thought
Just A Splash
Are you a fan of sushi, or a fan of sushi condiments? This is an interesting thing to consider in this particular context...
God’s mercy is maybe one of the most underappreciated of His attributes. It’s hard to value God’s mercy unless we understand it’s meaning. God’s mercy involves Him showing restraint. God expresses mercy when He DOESN’T give us what we deserve. Proverbs 24:16 teaches that “a righteous man may fall seven times, and rise again.” This principle explains that, even the righteous make mistakes. Those who have been declared righteous by God through faith in Jesus Christ, are still left with the issues of the flesh, which makes us susceptible to errors. According to Proverbs 24:16, the people of God are bound to make at least seven mistakes that are offensive towards God, per day! That means, God shows restraint towards us, AT LEAST seven times a day, keeping Himself from giving us what we deserve. Like Psalm 103:10 says, “He has NOT dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.”
The value of God’s mercy is actually shown through restraint. That means that, we get to taste the goodness of His essence, because He doesn’t pour His wrath out upon us. Rather than pour on the pain, God curbs His anger so that we don’t fully get what we deserve. As a result, we’re able to gain the benefit of His natural goodness and grace. Without the manifestation of God’s mercy through restraint, we don’t get the benefits of the freshness of His grace.
When thinking about the concept of mercy, through the idea of “restraint,” we started talking about showing restraint in cooking. Often times, the goodness of a fresh ingredient can be ruined by too much seasoning or sauce. One of the most common practices we’ve seen, is with sushi. Sushi is one of those types of food where, most people eat “sushi” doused in sauce and other ingredients, to where you can’t even taste the freshness of good fish. Sushi-grade fish is exceptionally nourishing and delicious, but when overdone with soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce, or other ingredients, it can be easy to change the nutritional value and the taste of the fish itself. Pouring on the sauce, changes the relationship we have with fish when eating good sushi.
This is how God’s mercy works. If God pours out His wrath, like we pour on the sauce when eating sushi, we wouldn’t know the natural goodness of God, just like we miss out on the natural goodness of sushi-grade fish. In our photo, we wanted to capture a roll of good fish, showing how colorful and vibrant the fish is, but in a manner that showed restraint. So, in the photo, you can see the fresh ingredients, but only a few drops of sauce. The one holding the soy sauce, is tipping the vessel so carefully, that it’s literally coming out drip by drip – preserving the integrity of the natural condition of the fish itself. Likewise, God holds the vessel of His judgments and carefully pours it out, drip by drip, to preserve the integrity of those He’s called to be His children, making sure they maintain the freshness and vibrancy He imparts by His glory.