January 15 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20
Our Compassionate God
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes.
READ PSALM 138
The winter night was cold when someone threw a large stone through a Jewish child’s bedroom window. A star of David had been displayed in the window, along with a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In the child’s town of Billings, Montana, thousands of people—many of them believers in Jesus—responded to the hateful act with compassion. Choosing to identify with the hurt and fear of their Jewish neighbors, they pasted pictures of menorahs in their own windows.
As believers in Jesus, we too receive great compassion. Our Savior humbled Himself to live among us (John 1:14), identifying with us. On our behalf, He, “being in very nature God . . . made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7). Then, feeling as we feel and weeping as we weep, He died on a cross, sacrificing His life to save ours.
Nothing we struggle with is beyond our Savior’s concern. If someone “throws rocks” at our lives, He comforts us. If life brings disappointments, He walks with us through despair. “Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar” (Psalm 138:6). In our troubles, He preserves us, stretching out His hand against both “the anger of [our] foes” (v. 7) and our own deepest fears. Thank You, God, for Your compassionate love.
By Patricia Raybon
REFLECT & PRAY
O God, I thank You for understanding my struggles and comforting me with loving care. Remind me always to share Your compassion with others. Learn to love like Jesus.
In what areas of your life do you need God’s compassion? How can you show His care and love to others?
In Psalm 138:4-5, David calls the kings of the earth to praise God. The surrounding verses explain the reasons he issues this call: God is loving and faithful and answers those who call (vv. 1-3); He’s kind and compassionate to “the lowly”; He saves those who are oppressed (vv. 6-8).
David’s call to the kings of the earth in verses 4-5 could be considered a hopeful calling. In the days of the Old Testament, kings (outside of Israel) didn’t praise God. They were, more often than not, rebellious and resistant to Him (see Psalms 2 and 48). In Revelation, however, David’s hope is fulfilled as the kings of the earth bring their riches to the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:24). J.R. Hudberg