Words from the Heart for Sunday February 12th, 2017
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23:6 (KJV)
Goodness and Mercy
This verse marks the end of this favourite psalm but the blessing of belonging to our Good Shepherd never ends! We have the guarantee of His goodness and mercy for all our days. And, that’s still not the end. He has provided an eternal home with Him. It is wonderful to know Him and to accept the salvation He provides. He has a great future planned with us.
Canada has an interesting final place of appeal within our legal system. The Criminal Code contains a mercy power allowing a person convicted of an offence to apply for ministerial review on the grounds of a miscarriage of justice. If satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice has likely occurred, the Minister may direct a new trial or refer the matter to the court of appeal for a hearing. The Criminal Code provisions are derived from the prerogative of mercy, one of the historical royal prerogatives of the British monarch. The power was originally incorporated into Canadian law from English common law and conferred on the Governor General by letters patent. A recent Supreme Court decision clarified that the decision to have mercy (or not) is a discretionary decision to be made by the Minister.
We live in a world that is too often marked by evil and injustice. Wars continue unabated, children are abused and abandoned, families live in poverty, marriages break up and violence destroys communities. We look around us and wonder how in the world God can continue to put up with all of this. What we don’t often recognize is that God is at work, in and through the lives of those who love Him and follow Him. King David lived in a day not unlike ours. Wars were being fought, sin marked the lives of too many and families faced the daily struggles of financial pressure, wayward children and unhealthy marriages. And in the midst of daily living God was with them. David wrote in Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Eternal life is a gift from God, but it is far more than heaven – dwelling in the house of the Lord forever, to use David’s wording. King David had experienced the forgiveness that only God can provide. God’s mercy had transformed his life and no longer would he live in sin. Goodness and mercy would be his daily experience. God’s would walk with him for the rest of his life. For the follower of Jesus the experience is even more intimate – Jesus takes up residence in us and gives us the victory.
These have been words from the heart.