Summary: Seven points about God’s compassion (OT/NT)followed by devotional commentary by Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke & John MacArthur.
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Senior Minister), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you simply stating where in the world you are based; I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God that all over the globe, the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God.
Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.
N.B. The message appears to be quite long simply because I’ve added the various devotional commentaries to help the preacher’s meditation on the scriptures provided.
COMPASSION OF GOD
Compassion: is the inward urging to reach out in love to those around us who are in need.
To Have Pity,
To Have Mercy,
To Have Bowels That Are Yearning.
The opposite: is indifference, lack of concern.
God’s Compassion - DEFINITION
‘The most common verb used in the Greek New Testament to refer to God’s compassion is splanchnizomai. This verb is used twelve times. Once it is used of the Samaritan’s compassion for the wounded man (Luke 10:33). The other eleven uses refer to God’s compassion. In two separate parables Jesus uses this verb to refer to God’s compassion in saving and forgiving sinners (Matt. 18:27 and Luke 15:20). The remainder of the uses of this verb all refer to compassion as the major motivation for Jesus’ healing and miracles. So in nine out of eleven occurrences where this verb is used of God’s compassion it refers to the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ as his motivation for healing! What is the meaning of splanchnizomai when it refers to God’s compassion? The nominal form of this word originally referred to the inner parts of a man, the heart, liver, and so on. It could be used of the inward parts of a sacrificial animal, but it became common to use this word in reference to the lower parts of the abdomen, the intestines, and especially the womb’ (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, eds. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich [Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1971] 7:548).
‘Some theologians have felt that this term was too rough or graphic to be used in reference to God’s compassion. Using the word for “intestines” to refer to God’s compassion is akin to our using the word “guts” for courage in modern English, as when we say, “He really has guts.” However, I think the New Testament writers meant to do exactly this. They were impressing on the readers the power and the force of God’s compassion. They may also have had in mind a physical feeling associated with compassion. Sometimes a sharp pain in the abdomen will accompany intense feelings of compassion or pity for those we love. The choice of such a graphic word served to impress the New Testament Christians that God’s compassion for them was rooted in his deep love for them and his sensitivity to their pain.’ [Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, by Jack Deere (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), pp. 279-280.
A. GOD’S COMPASSION IN THE O.T.
1. COMPASSION TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO US
La 3:21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.
22 Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
La 3:24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
La 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
(From MATTHEW HENRY’s WHOLE BIBLE COMMENTARY):
Had it not been for the hope we have in the Lord, our hearts would break. To save the heart from being quite broken, here is something called to mind, which gives ground for hope (La 3:21). The psalmist recalls the beautiful attributes of the Lord, the Holy Spirit reminding him.
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.”
Let us see what these things are which he calls to mind.
I. That, bad as things are, it is owing to the mercy of God that they are not worse. We are afflicted by the rod of his wrath, but it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, La 3:22. When we are in distress we should, for the encouragement of our faith and hope, observe what makes for us as well as what makes against us. Things are bad but they might have been worse, and therefore there is hope that they may be better. Observe here,