The Splendor of God
Originally scheduled for May 29
The author of the apocryphal Prayer of Manasseh acknowledges God
…for your glorious splendor cannot be borne,
and the wrath of your threat to
sinners is unendurable;
yet immeasurable and unsearchable
is your promised mercy,
for you are the Lord Most High,
of great compassion, long-suffering,
and very merciful,
relent at human suffering.
I hope you see the point. It is that God is merciful beyond
all measure and reason – despite the fact that He is high above us
in glory and splendor, and his righteous wrath is unendurable.
It is one thing to be merciful when you are weak; it is
entirely another to be merciful when you are mighty.
May I submit to you that it is a fine test of the greatness of a
man: what do you do when you triumph? Are you a revengeful, or
merciful? A fine example of this is General Douglas MacArthur. When
he took over Japan, at the end of World War II, many of his staff
encouraged him to treat the Japanese as they had treated American
prisoners of war. That treatment was gruesome and horrible. But
MacArthur vigorously rejected the idea. In the American tradition of
"malice towards none and charity towards all" he treated the
Japanese with dignity and respect. No one was punished except
through proper judicial procedure. The Japanese people as a whole
found McArthur a benign monarch. The results of this procedure may
be seen in the friendship of the Japanese towards the Americans to
It is part of the glorious splendor of God that he is merciful to
us. Indeed, just as his power is above and beyond all others, so is
his mercy. Can there be any greater mercy than sending your son to
die on the cross for the sins of those who rightly deserve death?
That is what he did for us.
He asks that you remember this. Well we should; it is the most
important fact in human history. So as you take this cup and eat
this bread, remember: the splendor of the Almighty is displayed
before you in the simplest of ways.