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March 8, 2017

Compassion

Do you want God to pity you? The word pity as it is used in the Psalm means compassion, or an urge and desire to help, a sorrow for the trouble someone else is suffering. We’re made from dust and we’re going back to the dust. We need to see ourselves like God does, that we’re dust and we need his pity.

Psalm 103:13-14 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Every one of us needs to feel poor and needy or we won’t see the need for God to have compassion on us.

Psalm 86:1 Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

When the lawyer asked Jesus who his neighbor was. Jesus told about the man that was beaten on the road to Jericho. When the priest saw him, he passed by on the other side. When the Levite some him, he went to look at him but passed by. They were both religious but they had no compassion. We need to ask God to show us where we can show some compassion to people we see. Humility will cause us to have compassion. Pride will cause us to not have compassion. If we’re proud, we won’t want to get our hands dirty, to sacrifice our time to help. When we’re humble there’s always a consideration for others and life is not about ourselves.

Luke 10:25-37 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The man was stripped of his clothes so the Samaritan had to use his own clothes to bind up the man’s wounds. The Samaritan set the man on his own beast so he had to walk to the inn. The Samaritan used his money to pay for the man’s care and lodging at the inn. No doubt the Samaritan had plans for the day, but he gave up his time to help the man. He spent his money and himself to help the man. Jesus was moved with compassion to help those that were possessed with devils and the leper that needed healed.

Mark 1:39-42 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

The multitude rebuked the blind man and had no compassion for him.

Matthew 20:29-34  And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

We need compassion for each other. We’ll have strife, hard hearts, and unforgiveness if we don’t have compassion. We won’t forgive others when we feel they’ve wronged us if we lack compassion. If Jesus was able to forgive on the cross, it shows us that he will help us have compassion to forgive others, no matter how bad they’ve treated us. If we have forgiveness in our heart, God will judge whatever is wrong. If we don’t have compassion to forgive, we’ll be bitter and have bad attitudes. Job’s comforters reproached (rebuked) him nine times and had no compassion for him.

Job 19:1-3 Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.

No one was showing any compassion to Job and they were avoiding him.

Job 19:13-19 He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight. I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth. My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body. Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.

Job’s hope was in God, regardless of the situation, even when everyone was forsaking him. As the body of Christ, we need to show compassion and be there for those who are going through hard situations. We shouldn’t think someone deserved what they got when they’re suffering, or we need to ask God to help us have compassion.

Job 19:25-26 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

God used Jonah to preach what he wanted to the Ninevites.

Jonah 3:1-4 And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

God had compassion for the Ninevites when they repented and turned from their evil.

Jonah 3:5-10 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Jonah was preaching the word and God used it, but Jonah had no compassion and he was selfish. He wanted the whole town of Nineveh to be killed because of all they had done before to Israel so he had no compassion. God had compassion for 120,000 people but Jonah only had compassion for a gourd. He was feeling sorry for himself and had a heart condition that wasn’t right toward the people. God wants us to have compassion that will cause us to help people.

Jonah 4:1-3 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

The disciples were saved but had no compassion, patience, or longsuffering for those that didn’t receive Jesus. He rebuked them but he didn’t tell them that they weren’t saved. He said they didn’t know what spirit that came from to destroy the people. He corrected them because he came to save lives, not to destroy.

Luke 9:51-56 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them…

God wants us to be neighbors to those who are hurting. When the good Samaritan saw the need, he care for the man’s wounds, clothed him, fed him, and spent himself to help the man. Wherever you are you need to pray that God will show where needs are so you can show compassion and to please our neighbor for his good, to help him.

Romans 15:1-3 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

 

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)