CONT., page 5
LAW AND MERCY, CONTINUED
Continuing in this matter of law and mercy, one evening this writer was sitting with His family in the living room, when one of my daughters initiated something that was not really to my approval and disagreed with my beliefs. But, what she did was out of love and for the care of another family member. As I sat there, I pondered what to do. If I said something, like a wet blanket on a fire it would have completely changed the mood of the evening. It would not only have wounded the daughter who initiated it, but the other daughter as well to whom the deed was initiated. But, I am a person of convictions, who strongly desires to do what is right, whatever the cost.
As I sat there, weighing what to do, I decided that for the long term, it would be better if I did not make this an issue, but let it pass. The fact was that though I disagreed with what was done, for the sake of what was good for the long term, it was better to have mercy. It was then that I realized what was meant when we read - "lovingkindness and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
Truth and righteousness are equally the law. These are firm, unmoving, uncompromising standards that must be met. On the other hand, lovingkindness and peace are mercy. These look at a situation and want compromise and compassion, and not a strict standard. In fact, mercy's standard is not at all based on a law of justness, but on a standard of conciliation, what is pleasing for the moment. These are the two conflicts also seen as male and female.
As I sat there pondering this dilemma, I realized that for the long term benefit, righteousness and truth had to come together with peace and lovingkindness. Law had to meet together with mercy. But what this meant was that, in effect, law had to compromise its position.
There is no way this writer can, or maybe even should, try to address this entire matter of law and mercy. It is evident though that in order for Yahweh to have mercy, in order for law and mercy to meet together, the requirement of the law must still somehow be met. Remember, mercy is a legal grant of favor for the best long term results. Let us briefly consider an example of this.
Even as King David would not allow the lame or the blind to enter into his house (2 Samuel 5:6-8), so Yahweh will not allow the flesh of man to enter into His house. So here is a problem - How will He ever allow a Remnant people to ascend alive to Him? He does so by law and mercy kissing each other. Law, in a sense, has to compromise for the long term benefit. In this case, that "compromise" is based upon the covenant between the Father and the Son, or the David-and-Jonathan-like covenant.
David allowed a lame man to not only enter into his house, but to also regularly eat from his own table! Because of the covenant David had with Jonathan, Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth, who became lame in his feet, was brought into David's house. Thus, David "compromised" his position based upon his covenant with Jonathan.
Likewise, often we too have mercy, not because the law we hold to is wrong, but because law and mercy must kiss for the sake of the long term results. Often we do this strictly based upon the work of Yahshua. Does this mean that law is done away with? No, for without law, life would be structureless and formless, incapable of any strength or even offspring. Without law, the universe would go into chaos. Without law, nations, society, and the family would go into chaos. In fact, there are many times in which law must prevail alone. As we have already pointed out, even as there was of necessity a period in which Adam was alone, even as there was of necessity a period in which the first Pentecost Law was alone, so there is a time in relationships in which it is entirely proper for law to prevail alone. If this were not so, then life as we know it, the family, and all society would be in utter chaos and disorder.
On the first Pentecost, 3,000 people were slain with the sword; on a latter Pentecost, 3,000 entered into the kingdom. Both were essential. The former could not be decried as wrong or excessively harsh, something to be avoided. No, the former was entirely essential for bringing forth the latter. If this were not entirely necessary, Yahweh would not have designed it this way. The former had to precede the latter; thus the latter was not possible apart from the former. The former paid the price for and empowered the latter. Equally, one cannot decry when a first Pentecost act of law must be taken, for it provides the way for a latter Pentecost act of mercy. Both are essential.
There is all too often a temptation to abandon law for mercy. Remember, masculine law and feminine mercy coming together in a conjugal union of bringing forth offspring can only come about legally. Often times people try to unite law and mercy, when in fact it is ill timed and entirely illegal, with the consequence of common adultery. Law and mercy cannot always come together - it must be legal!
One of the hardest jobs on the face of the earth is being a father, I mean a real father, not a passive father. Why is this so? Because the father occupies the law position in a relationship with his wife and family. Often, it is the father who (by the leading of Yahweh as to what is right) finds that he must take a position that is tested by the family (and others as well). Law must prevail for the sake of what is right, while others cry for the illegal application of mercy. In many cases, the addition of what is called "mercy," is nothing more than adulterating what is right and good. It is an ill-timed union of law and mercy that brings forth illegitimate offspring contrary to the ways of God. This makes fathering a very difficult job; but a man of God will learn when to stand in what is right according to the place of male law, and when to legally bring together law and mercy for fruitful union. This is the role of the man, even as it was out of the man that the woman was brought forth, and it was out of law that mercy came forth. It is law that determines when mercy applies.
On the other hand, a man who in time never allows mercy will never bring forth fruit. Law alone cannot bring forth any offspring, for it is alone. But neither can mercy alone bring forth offspring. However while law can always stand alone, mercy can never stand alone (evidenced by Eve's actions).
Have you ever seen someone who is all mercy? There is no backbone in them, and they do not have strong standards for others or for themselves. They are like the parent whose son or daughter is always in trouble because they have never held their child accountable for their actions, or recognized that they do anything wrong. Herein is mercy without law, and at some point law has to step in and correct the results of their ill parenting. On the other hand, someone who is all law is equally troubling, not to speak of damaging. They are always rigid and unbending, hurting others every step of the way.
Neither of these positions are exclusively acceptable, for the unwise prevalence of either of these with disregard for the other is destructive. Where then does the administration of this marriage fall? Upon law, the male, the one who has the right of headship or (and today's society will not like this) the right to rule in the home. And here is often the challenge for the man - possessing the ability to both occupy that position with fruitfulness, and yet being able to stand firm when law must stand alone. In this latter case, love is when law must have its way for long term good, and "compromise" is neither profitable nor acceptable. This requires a man whose heart is for God, who is led by the Spirit, and who continually seeks wisdom. This is a man who realizes that in the end, all the governmental responsibility and wellbeing of the home rests solely upon him, and he stands firm in what is right for the best long-term results.
Sadly, there are too many examples where this order does not exist. Either the man is too weak and passive to take his role, or the woman is too domineering to ever allow the man to function as he should. The world is full of sad casualties where Yahweh's divine order does not exist, foreshadowed all the way back in the garden of Eden by Eve's ill actions. There are fewer sad casualties where men never allow law and mercy to kiss; but far more often today, the male figure is either removed from his divine governmental role, or abdicates it out of social pressures, ignorance, or weakness. Whatever the reason, the results are once again destructive, first for the family but also for society. Yahweh's proper governmental order is proper governmental order, and altering it has as certain and sure ill consequences as defying the laws of nature.
Men must take their places as Yahweh's divine heads in the home; and equally they must learn when law stands alone and it is illegal for law and mercy to come together, and when law and mercy are to kiss and lie together for fruitful gain. The determination of this requires wisdom and being led by Yahweh's Spirit.
Continue to page 6 of The Conflict forLAW AND MERCY, FURTHER EXPANDED
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