Michael Jeshurun

Today the unthinkable happened! My Apple pencil slipped out of my hand and landed on my mosaic floor . . . and my heart did a flip! I thought it was all over for my beloved pencil which I cherish and use so much in all my art work . . . . but God was merciful. He didn’t have to be, especially considering the way I’ve been sinning and ignoring Him lately. He would have been perfectly righteous and just if He’d made sure that my pencil was ruined, and I would have more than deserved it.

But Oh what a Word is that – “The goodness of God endureth continually!” [Ps 52:1] This especially so to all His elect. In fact it is this ‘goodness’ which always brings the saint back on track. God is so good to him that he can’t help but repent! Or as the apostle put it, “the goodness of God leads him to repentance!” [Rom 2:4]

Our brother Philpot puts it beautifully –

“It is not by frowns, but by smiles. “I drew them,” says the Lord, “with cords of a man” (that is, the tender feelings that are bound up in the human heart), “with bands of love.” You may thunder, you may lighten, you may take the whip and flog a poor backslider – but you can never flog him home. He must be drawn by mercy, by the goodness of God, which leadeth to repentance. [Rom 2:4]

How was Peter brought back? By that look which Jesus gave him, as he stood in the hall of the high priest; that look of mingled love and reproach. It was this that made Peter go out and weep bitterly. A frown would have driven him into despair, and made him hang himself by the side of Judas; but that look of mingled reproof and love wounded and healed, filled heart and eyes with the deepest grief and sorrow; and yet poured such a healing balm into his mourning soul that when Jesus was risen from the dead, and by His angel sent him a special message that He would see him again in Galilee, he leaped into the sea to meet Him, when He stood on the shore of the lake Tiberias.

But for that look and for that message, he would rather have leaped to the bottom with self-reproach, than leaped to the shore with love and affection. Thus was brought again poor driven-away Peter. And thus too, by the voice of pardon, was brought again poor driven-away David. For the Lord devises means that His banished be not expelled from Him.” [2Sam 14:14]

“Behold, God exalteth by His power: who teacheth like Him?!” [Job 36:22]

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