2013-09-07 – Paul Godfrey – Blessed are the Merciful

audio: mp3
video: youtube

Scripture Reading: Daniel 4:27  Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Daniel 4:4-7  I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:  5  I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.  6  Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise [men] of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.  7  Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.

Daniel 4:8-17  But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom [is] the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, [saying],  9  O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof.  10  Thus [were] the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof [was] great.  11  The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:  12  The leaves thereof [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.  13  I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;  14  He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:  15  Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and [let] his portion [be] with the beasts in the grass of the earth:  16  Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him: and let seven times pass over him.  17  This matter [is] by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Daniel  4:18-19  This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise [men] of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou [art] able; for the spirit of the holy gods [is] in thee.  19  Then Daniel, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him…

Daniel  4:19-27  …The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream [be] to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.  20  The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;  21  Whose leaves [were] fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it [was] meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:  22  It [is] thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.  23  And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and [let] his portion [be] with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;  24  This [is] the interpretation, O king, and this [is] the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:  25  That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.  26  And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.  27  Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Daniel  4:28-31  All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.  29  At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.  30  The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?  31  While the word [was] in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, [saying], O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

So deep is the impression of self-exaltation in the human heart, so great the desire for human power, that with many mind and heart and soul become absorbed with the idea of ruling and commanding. Nothing can destroy this ruinous influence upon the human mind but seeking the Lord for heavenly eyesight. Only the power of divine grace can make man understand his true position and accomplish for him the work essential to be wrought in the heart.–Lt 412, 1907.  {1MCP 274.1}

Isaiah 58:6-8  [Is] not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?  7  [Is it] not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?  8  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

James 2:12,13  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.  13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Luke 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Matthew  5:7  Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Micah 6:8  He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Selfish interest must ever be made subordinate; for if given room to act, it becomes a controlling power which contracts the intellect, hardens the heart, and weakens the moral power. Then disappointment comes. The man has divorced himself from God and sold himself to unworthy pursuits. He cannot be happy, for he cannot respect himself. He has lowered himself in his own estimation. He is an intellectual failure.–MS 21, 1899.  {1MCP 271.2}

Selfishness is the want [lack] of Christlike humility, and its existence is the bane of human happiness, the cause of human guilt, and it leads those who cherish it to make shipwreck of faith.–Lt 28, 1888.  {1MCP 271.3}

Today, as in Christ’s day, Satan rules the minds of many. Oh, that his terrible, fearful work could be discerned and resisted! Selfishness has perverted principles, selfishness has confused the senses and clouded the judgment. {1MCP 272.1}

2 Timothy  3:1,2  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves…

2 Timothy  3:4    …lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Philippians 2:3,4  [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Mercy is an attribute that the human agent may share with God. As did Christ, so man may lay hold on the divine arm and be in communication with divine power. To us has been given a service of mercy to perform for our fellow man. In performing this service, we are laboring together with God. We do well, then, to be merciful, even as our Father in heaven is merciful.  {HP 238.2}

“I will have mercy,” God says, “and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). Mercy is kind, pitiful. Mercy and the love of God purify the soul, beautify the heart, and cleanse the life from selfishness. Mercy is a manifestation of divine love and is shown by those who, identified with God, serve Him by reflecting the light of heaven upon the pathway of their fellow creatures. The condition of many persons calls for the exercise of genuine mercy. Christians, in their dealing with one another, are to be controlled by principles of mercy and love. They are to improve every opportunity for helping fellow beings in distress. . . .  {HP 238.3}

Let those who desire to perfect a Christlike character ever keep in view the cross on which Christ died a cruel death in order to redeem mankind. Let them ever cherish the same merciful spirit that led the Saviour to make an infinite sacrifice for our redemption. . . .  {HP 238.4}

The merciful “shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:25). There is sweet peace for the compassionate spirit, a blessed satisfaction in the life of self-forgetful service for the good of others.  {HP 238.5}

He who has given his life to God in ministry to His children is linked with Him who has all the resources of the universe at His command. By the golden chain of the immutable promises his life is bound up with the life of God. The Lord will not fail him in the hour of suffering and need. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). And in the hour of final need the merciful shall find refuge in the mercy of the compassionate Saviour and by Him shall be received into everlasting habitations.  {HP 238.6}

James  2:12,13  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.  13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Daniel 4:27  Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Daniel 4:34-37  And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  35  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  36  At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.  37  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works [are] truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Amen