November 5, Sunday

Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Emerson Lin of Kairos Christian Church, in San Diego.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Proclaim His Compassion”

Genesis 18:26-33

The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” 27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?” “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.” 29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?” He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?” He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?” He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” 33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

CompassionDuring World War II, some soldiers serving in France wanted to bury a friend and fellow soldier who had been killed. Being in a foreign country, they wanted to ensure their fallen comrade had a proper burial. They found a well-kept cemetery with a low stone wall around it by a beautiful Catholic church and a peaceful outlook—this was just the place to bury their friend. But when they approached the priest, he answered that unless their friend was a baptized Catholic he could not be buried in the cemetery. The fallen soldier wasn’t. Sensing the soldier’s disappointment, the priest showed them a spot outside the walls where they could bury their friend. Reluctantly, they did so.

The next day the soldiers returned to pay their final respects to their fallen friend but could not find the grave. “Surely we can’t be mistaken. It was right here!” they said. Confused, they approached the priest who took them to a spot inside the cemetery walls. “Last night I couldn’t sleep,” said the priest, “I was troubled that your friend had to be buried outside the cemetery walls, so I got up and moved the fence.”  This story has more than one lesson; I’m opting for compassion, that is, the priest’s action was prompted by his compassion for the fallen soldier.

In this passage, the Lord had explained to Abraham what He was about to do to the city of Sodom and Gomorrah. Knowing that his nephew Lot resided in that city, he persistently begged the Lord for His mercy upon these two cities. He was so persistent that the Lord was willing to spare the cities if 10 righteous people were there.

While this passage can be focused on the power of prayer, I believe our focus should be on the compassion of God. The Lord’s willingness to bring down the number of righteous people reveals His longing to spare the city. Lot’s family, alone, should have covered 10 righteous people; yet, we learn that this was not the case.

Our society may see a God who is quick to judge cities, however we believe in a God who is merciful and compassionate to all His creation, not just to believers. Psalm 145:8-12 says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made…so that all people may know of your might acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.”

Our God is persistent in showing mercy because He desires for all of creation to turn back to Him. It is our job, as believers, to proclaim the splendor of His compassion and share His goodness with all peoples.

What are some areas of your life where you can proclaim His good news? What hinders you from doing so? As His church, we are called to be the loudest voice of His mercy.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You are slow to anger and quick to forgive. Because of Your goodness, I am saved. Help me to not be afraid to proclaim Your goodness to my family members, coworkers, and strangers. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 3

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