1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say this—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
3 those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south
10 Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 for they had rebelled against the words of God
and despised the counsel of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron.
43 Whoever is wise, let him heed these things
and consider the great love of the LORD
It comes to me that You are always more willing to forgive than I.
Always more willing to redeem, to save, to sanctify, to rescue, to heal, to joyfully gather up those who turn back to You.
That even as the most wicked turn, so do You forgive. And I? I find myself with Jonah, subject to his heart, falling so short of Yours.
So, remember this, even as we wish judgment on our enemies, that the Lords ways are not our ways; the way of love is a different path indeed.
How easy it is to become polarised, negative, judgmental, to wish harm to our enemies and delight in their judgment – but this is not the Way of the Cross.
The Lord desires the destruction of no man, and no church. The heart of Love is the heart of grief also.
And, the church that walks proudly into the outer darkness, do we rejoice? No, we mourn as the Lord mourns.
Judgment, when it comes, is not gleeful, but with the deepest heart of pain and anguish.
Judgment is from the heinous offence against the heart of love itself; never is it vindictive or malicious.
Pray therefore, not for judgment or separation, though these things may come, but that even at the 11th hour folk may awaken to their reality, turn and be healed.
Let us have a heart for reconciliation, a heart to save, a heart to bring the harvest home, a heart to love with the Lords burning love. For the Lord desires the destruction of no man.