Tue | Sep 25, 2018

If Abrahams could understand God's mercy

Published:Tuesday | September 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I have read Dr Michael Abrahams' article, 'Bible tales from the crypt', published online in this newspaper on Monday, September 14, 2015, and I expressly recognised his ignorance of the Bible's contents.

What Dr Abrahams does not recognise is that some things in the Bible are descriptive, whereas others are prescriptive.

The descriptive matters show us human relations and activities which were not always God's ideal, but were written to give us a glimpse into how degenerate mankind had become and how God dealt with them, while still formulating ways and means, mercifully, to save humanity. The prescriptive portions, conversely, tell us what God expects of us, like His Ten Commandments, for example.

The story of David's adultery and murder plot is not a prescription of what God desires for us, but a description of man's own rebellion.

On the other hand, the story of the children who mocked the prophet and were destroyed is not a rebuttal to God's mercy, but a description of what ensues when mercy is rejected or taken for granted.

Lot's wife is another classic example. Mercy went to extremes to save her, but her heart was bent toward the evil.

We should, therefore, not mix up the historical information about man's sinful ways with God's standard for His people and His prerogative to judge.

Dr Abrahams must understand that mercy cannot be juxtaposed to indefinite pardon of wrongs done. That's cheap grace! Furthermore, Abrahams himself is an example of God's mercy; hence, he can write about all his sacrilege and yet is sustained to see the present, by God's grace and mercy.

Dr Abrahams, if God were not beyond your ken, He would have been reduced to a mere fallible mortal like unto ourselves. God does not answer to us. We answer to Him.

Meanwhile, may you find consolation for your ignorance in 1 Corinthians 1:25 - "The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

May you grow to appreciate God's mercy!