The Whiplash Of Grace


Scripture
4 Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 5 Though all the peoples walk Each in the name of his god, As for us, we will walk In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever. 6 “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts, Even those whom I have afflicted. 7 “I will make the lame a remnant And the outcasts a strong nation, And the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever.  Micah 4:4-7

Observation
I experienced scriptural whiplash today.  One minute I’m reading about all the judgment the people of God are bringing upon themselves because of their sin and the next moment I’m reading promises of peace and restoration.  Their past sin resulted in present judgment, but their future was not lost.  God in His mercy foretold of a time through His prophet Micah when all would be restored.  Though surrounded by enemies now, God would defeat them.  Though running for their lives He describes them sitting under the shade of vines and figs representing rest and provision.  Though they had worshipped false gods and gone far from the true God, He paints the picture of them walking in faithful covenant again.  All the labels of outcast, lame and afflicted would be removed and they would see God as their covering again.

Application
This promise was future-tense in the book of Micah but became present-tense in Jesus for each one of us.  In John 8 we see the teachers of the law and the Pharisees dragging a woman caught in the act of adultery before Jesus to test Him.  How would this “friend of sinners” respond to this woman who had so clearly broken Gods commands?  The leaders, of course, ignored the fact that by waiting and watching this woman in the act of adultery they themselves had also broken the law, but that was beside the point.  Jesus looked at them, the crowds, the woman cast down in the dirt in the middle of her shame.  The law was clear on this point.  She did deserve death by stoning.  Just like the people of God in Micah’s day she was about to experience the whiplash of grace.  Unlike in Micah though, it would not be future-tense, but present tense in the very presence of Jesus.  One moment she looks down in the dirt bracing herself for the first stone’s impact upon her body, the next minute she hears the gentle voice of Jesus: 10When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?””11″No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”  Where her accusers once were now there Jesus was!  Where her judgement pushed her to the ground there was grace now helping her to her feet.  The only one truly justified in his sinlessness to cast the first stone instead offered her first forgiveness.  All the labels of adulteress, sinner and useless were now left behind as she walked into a fresh relationship with Jesus as her Savior!

Prayer

I pray we can, as Your people Lord, become the whiplash of grace to those around us.  Thank You for reaching out to me!  It’s out these stories depicting the whiplash of grace that I wrote this prayer put to music.
Jesus You Are

(Verse 1)
Where are the ones who called me the names
That stained dark my soul
And heaped on the shame
Convincing me Oooh that I was done
(Verse 2)
Where are the fears that followed me far
Darkening all my dreams
Defining for me all my scars
Convincing me Oooh that I should run
(Chorus)
Where they were (echo)
Now there You are (echo)
Where they were Lord, where they were Lord
Jesus You are
(Verse 3)
Where are the sins that sealed my fate
Widening the great divide
Justifying all my hate
Convincing me Oooh I am all alone
(Tag)
Light for the darkness
Forgiveness for shame
I hear words of life instead of all that blame
The rocks heaped upon me
Now taken away
Where chains held tightly I’m free to say…