Thursday, September 01, 2011

Final post from Severe Mercy

“This journey through the Old Testament has consistently revealed the importance of the character of God for remedying sin, and it is this character that makes sense of the variety of remedies. God’s character is consistently emphasized, especially focusing on the recitation of elements from the character creed found in Exod 34:6–7. There, God’s character is identified as both gracious and just; God forgives and yet punishes, that is, he displays a severe mercy. This character has been consistent throughout the Old Testament. Yahweh is a God who takes sin very seriously and does not leave the guilty unpunished, and yet he is a God filled with grace and mercy expressed through his patience and forgiveness. It is his justice that explains his regular discipline of sin but his grace that offers hope to a disciplined people. His justice has gracious intent, as he seeks to eliminate the sin that threatens human existence and severs relationship with him. His grace is seen in his constant mitigation of punishment and expressed in his reticence to discipline. This severe mercy, however, cannot be controlled even by the character creed, which is carefully qualified by Yahweh himself as being always under the control of his sovereign will (Exod 33:19).”—A Severe Mercy, pages 522-523

<idle musing>
That's the final bit from A Severe Mercy. I put off starting the book for nearly two years because it was so monstrous in size, but once I started it, it was well worth my time. I hope you've enjoyed the snippets—maybe even enough to buy/borrow the book. I know some of you have, because you told me. I know others looked at the shear size of the book and got scared—just like I did initially. Don't let the size overwhelm you, it is worth the read.

If you don't know Hebrew, some of it will go over your head, but it will still repay your time reading it. Next up will be some snippets from The Horsemen of Israel. The book doesn't lend itself well to excerpts, but it certainly reads well (and quickly at 160 or so pages). I've learned a lot about horses and chariots and ancient warfare. After that, I'm not sure what; I've got 2-3 books going right now.
</idle musing>

1 comment:

David Reimer said...

Thanks so much for this series! I've got the book from our library on my desk ... and hope to get to it soon. I may not! But at least your series has insured it's on my "must read (someday!)" list. :)