68. Objects of his mercy.
"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous."(Matthew 5:45) Inspite of knowing that the wicked would reject him, God still shows his kindness to them as a testimony about him. 'Yet he has not left himself without a testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.' (Acts 14:17) If this is how God patiently bears the wicked, how much more patient is he with the saints, who are being prepared for glory? 'What if God , choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory know to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory...?(Romans 9:22-23) It was for this reason that he spared Pharoah. "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have spared you for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."(Exodus 9:15-16) But even greater was his patience in dealing with the Israelites who often failed to live up to his commands! Since this is the way he bears with us who are the objects of his mercy, he expects us to bear with one another. 'Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.' (Colossians 3:13) Amen.