Showing Mercy

2 Chronicles 28:9-11—But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven. And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God? Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.

After Jotham died, his son Ahaz reigned. God gave the people a king that they deserved so that hardship would turn them back to Him. Ahaz’ army was defeated by the Arameans. Their treasures were robbed, and many of the people went into captivity. Then the Northern Tribes inflicted heavy casualties and took two hundred thousand women and children captive and a great deal of plunder. As the army of the Northern Tribes returned to their capital Samaria, a prophet of God named Obed met them. The message from God was that their victory was due to God’s anger against Judah, but they had gone overboard in executing it. God’s question to them was this, “Aren’t you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God?” There are times when we find ourselves with the upper hand over those who oppose us, but we take it to the extreme. We should consider that it may not be so much that God is favoring us as God punishing them. God’s justice is always tempered with mercy, but man’s justice rarely is. We should consider that we could be in their shoes and that we are to apply the Golden Rule. If we desire mercy, then we will act with a great deal more mercy. Aren’t we also guilty of sins? The Northern Tribes showed great wisdom and fear of God when they listened to the prophet and returned the captives along with the spoils of war.

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