|Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4
I have had this scripture on my mind today.
It’s the goodness of God that leads man to repentance. He is a good, good Father.
As I have been meditating on this verse, I am reminded of a conversation I once had with a Pastor from Ohio.
We were having dinner one night and he began to talk to me about a scripture that God had led him to. It is found in 2 Kings 1:12, it says; So Elijah answered and said to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
We all know and love this story! We love how God showed Himself strong by judging the false prophets that day. Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume them and it did.
As I studied this scripture today I found that fire in this scripture represents the anger of God. Elijah literally called for God to be angry enough that His anger would come down and consume these men. Wow!
Most of us have had people in our life who hurt us. Or who meant us harm. I am sure there were times we, in our flesh, would like to call down fire from heaven to consume them. Instead, we choose to forgive them and love them, as the word of God says.
That day, at dinner, Pastor Paul shared something with me that was very insightful. So much so that I have never forgotten our conversation.
He said he asked God why He was showing him this verse and God told him this; “if you can call fire down from heaven, you can also call down grace and mercy.”
Wow! What a wonderful insight.
In Romans 2:4 the bible says it is God’s goodness NOT his anger that leads man to repent and be saved. Therefore, it makes much more sense to do as this Pastor suggested and call down mercy. Call down grace, call down the love of God. Don’t you think?
God is not up in heaven wanting and waiting to bring down judgment. That is the last thing on His mind. He wants man to come to Him and be saved, healed and delivered. It is the very reason He sent Jesus to the cross.
The Bible does not say for God was so angry at the world that He sent Jesus.
No, it says for God SO LOVED the world that He sent His only son, that we might be saved. (John 3:16)
God didn’t call down judgment that day, He called down love. He called down forgiveness. He called down deliverance and healing. He called down mercy.
Today, if you find yourself hurt, angry or disappointed at someone who meant you harm, do what God shared with Pastor Paul that day. Call down mercy. Call down love. Call down deliverance and salvation. Ask God to cause His goodness to lead them to repentance.
This I know for sure; God has not given me judgment, He has given me love. He has not given me what I deserve, He has given me mercy instead. He has loved me when I was unlovable and forgave me before I even ask. That is the nature of God. It should be our nature as well, don’t you think?
Today, as you search your heart, pray and call down mercy on those who have hurt you. Call down love on those who have failed to love you correctly. Call down grace on those who need it most and watch God work. Call down mercy on those who deserve judgment. He will release His goodness and bring them to Himself. Isn’t that better than calling down fire? Of course, it is.