Following the compassionate example of our Father

God continually exemplifies compassion for a people who are contrary to him.

God continually exemplifies compassion for a people who are contrary to him.

Zechariah 10:6 – I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them; for I am Yahweh their God and I will answer them.

When we speak about compassion with others, we will typically consider attributes like care, concern, and assistance for their well-being. These are not incorrect, and may come rather easily when we are emotionally moved with situations involving individuals who are struggling or who have fallen on hard times. However, when we look at the compassion that God has demonstrated on his people, we learn other aspects of compassion that we may not have considered.

In the case of this passage in Zechariah, Yahweh says he will have compassion on the houses of Judah and Joseph. He then explains through the prophet that this compassion will be exhibited through a demonstration of mercy; it will be as though he had not rejected them at all. In this, we can learn an aspect of compassion that we can practice in our own lives, as well.

If one of the aspects of biblical compassion is restoration of relationships, then we can see how this characteristic blends together with other characteristics that God desires of us, such as being peacemakers and forgiving those who have wronged us. The example of Yahweh with his people serves to illustrate time and again his undying compassion for his people, and it always results in him extending grace and mercy to those who have strayed from him.

  • Isaiah 54:7-8 – “I deserted you for a brief moment, but I will take you back with abundant compassion. “In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but I will have compassion on you with everlasting love,” says Yahweh your Redeemer.
  • Isaiah 65:2 – “I spread out my hands all day long to a rebellious people who walk in the path that is not good, following their own thoughts.
  • Jeremiah 30:18-19 – This is what Yahweh says: I will certainly restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents and show compassion on his dwellings. Every city will be rebuilt on its mound; every citadel will stand on its proper site. Thanksgiving will come out of them, a sound of rejoicing. I will multiply them, and they will not decrease; I will honor them, and they will not be insignificant.
  • Micah 7:18-19 – Who is a God like you, forgiving iniquity and passing over rebellion for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not hold on to his anger forever because he delights in faithful love. He will again have compassion on us; he will vanquish our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

If the compassion of our God is demonstrated in his steadfast love for his people by overlooking their iniquity and their unfaithfulness, then our compassion for others should be exhibited in the similar fashion.

Matthew 5:44-45 – “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, “so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

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