Ezekiel 23: 30

And I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

Perhaps you have heard this verse before. It is usually taught as a lament that God could find no one to pray for the land. There were no faithful people anywhere; no one who was willing to dedicate themselves to prayer. There is another aspect to this verse worth considering for there is another player involved, i.e. Yahweh Himself.

What was going on in God’s heart here? Take a moment and consider. Did God wish to destroy the land? Answer: no. He explicitly did not, which is why He went in search of a man to pray. There is consequence to sin. Sin destroys. However, God’s intent is never for destruction. His desire is to build, to create.

Compassion was ruling in God’s heart. The people of the land had nurtured a destructive pattern. They had sown the seeds of their own destruction, yet God was searching for a way to save them from themselves. His remedy was to seek out someone who would agree with Him in prayer for the salvation of the land. He wanted to intervene so as to interrupt the natural consequences of the people’s actions. Their seed was about to produce a crop so God hastened to arrest the process before that crop could manifest. However, to His chagrin, He could find no one willing to stand for the land and pray.

What I am attempting to point out is that God’s heart was operating in compassion rather than destruction. Some people read this verse and see a destructive, angry God. They could not be more wrong. Their hearts are tainted. The situation is that God was trying to prevent the destruction that was on its way. He is a loving, caring God who intercedes in our lives to prevent unwanted consequences. He encounters an issue to this day as He did at the writing of this verse. He can’t find anyone who will pray. We’re so obsessed with the bad things in life that we fail to listen to the voice which is attempting to lead us from the path of destruction or is importuning us to pray for someone else.

Let’s not be the people of this verse. Let’s see if we can learn from it. Let us turn our hearts and ears to the benevolent God of the Bible and follow where He leads. He is leading us beside still waters where we can commune with Him and receive His instruction. Expect God to be good because He always is, and He is looking for some partners who will help Him usher His goodness into the environment.

Streams of Water

Jeremiah 31: 9

I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel.

I say it often but for those who are new to the Word of the Day, fill in your name in place of Israel. I actually take a pencil and line through Israel in my Bible and fill in Ivey. You can too.

I have this passage outlined in my Bible. I really was not going to send another verse out of Jeremiah today, but I just couldn’t help it. I can’t get away from this one. The reason why it is sticking with me so strongly is because of the loving nature of this entire passage. Of course, the first phrase puts me in remembrance of Psalm 23, “He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul,” (v. 2-3). We learn why he leads us by streams of waters. It is to restore us. He also leads us on paths that are straight and level so that we will not trip and fall. What so you think of that?

The God of the Old Testament gets a bad rap. He is often accused of being wrathful and angry. And, to be honest, there are some passages that make you hold your breath. He was sorely tested but that fact that there is humanity remaining on the planet is proof that he is not a vengeful, hateful God. While humans were stumbling around making idols of wood, metal and clay, He was planning how and when He would send His son to earth to sacrifice himself so that we could come into unhindered fellowship with God. How is that for an angry God? You see, just because you get angry does not mean you have to act on it. “Be angry, and yet do not sin,” (Ephesians 4: 26).

God identifies Himself as a Father. That is His mental self-image. We could ask ourselves what image of the Father we hold in our hearts. Do we see an angry deity who, at the drop of a hat, can fly into a rage? Or, do we see a tender parent, loving and kind? Did you know that the image you hold onto of God is what you will allow to manifest in your life? If all you want from God is punishment, then you will find verses that support your abasement. However, if you will allow God to be who He truly is, you will overflow with love because love is His ultimate manifestation.

Perhaps today you can allow Him to lead you by streams of water where you will find refreshing and restoration. Today is a good day to allow Him to straighten your road. Enjoy the kindness of the Father.

Compassionate Grace

Exodus 34: 6 – 7

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.

How often have you heard about the angry, vengeful God of the Old Testament? Well, here He is full of compassion, grace, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. You know, we’ve got to be careful about what we listen to. Show me the scriptures! Give me evidence! When we actually look at the Old Testament, especially in its entirety, we find a God who was long on patience and whose actions were characterized by lovingkindness.

God is love and He so loved all of us that He sent His only begotten son to the cross for us. No one sends there only son to suffer and die for people He doesn’t love. He gave everything precious to Him so that we could be saved. Is that evidence of a vengeful God. And think about it this way . . . didn’t Jesus come to earth, suffer and die in the Old Testament? The new dispensation and the new covenant could not be ushered in until Jesus went to the cross, died and arose so all that we celebrate in the Christian faith about resurrection, salvation and the new birth is based on the Old Covenant love of God.

Yahweh has always been a full of compassion and lovingkindness. When Moses hid himself so that God could pass before him, what he saw and reported was that this God was full of graciousness, truth and compassion. We learn that God was and is slow to anger. How can we justifiably describe Him as angry when He is slow to anger? Does that make any sense at all?

The truth is that God is as He always was. He has not changed. His love for us has always motivated His actions. The fact that He did not send a lightning storm and strike down the grumbling, complaining Israelites in the desert is proof enough of His long suffering. Not one among us is as patient or as slow to anger as our Divine Father and yet we accuse Him of being impatient and merciless. It is just not true. We’ve been lied to but now we know.

Never be afraid of your heavenly Father. Never fear seeking counsel and communion with Him. He is gentle and kind. In fact, He is the most gentle being that has ever inhabited this universe. His compassion knows no boundaries. I love Jesus and I know you do too but we must remember that Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father. Jesus is the way. The way to what? To the Father. Jesus’ mission was to bring us back into relationship with the Father when we, like the prodigal son, sinned against Him and went astray. All the while, the Father was awaiting us, His eyes searching the horizon, a gold ring and new robe in Hands readied to drape us in the family colors and crest. He is the one who was deprived yet He longingly awaited our return, every day searching the road in the anticipation of our appearance. He never lost faith. He put the sacrificial lamb on the alter so that we would be able to approach Him with a clean conscience. This is the act of love, not anger.

The God of the Old Testament is a loving God, full of grace and mercy, abounding in compassionate concern.


Isaiah 54: 9 – 10

“For this is like the days of Noah to Me; when I swore that the waters of Noah should not flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.

Jesus was often moved by compassion. Often we think of this as simply and emotion that Jesus experienced but in truth it was so much more. You may hear people talk of the angry God of the Old Testament. Well, here is irrefutable evidence that God is not angry with you. He loves you and is compassionate.  And this is from the Old Testament.

This is the compassion that moved Jesus to heal and bless people. He was moved by the compassion of his father. Through the prophet Isaiah God delivered a promise of compassion and lovingkindness. By the time Jesus graced the earth God’s heart of compassion was well established. God, the Father, gave us a covenant of peace, not of anger. This is why Jesus is the Prince of peace. He is an extension and expression of his father.

God certainly had every reason to be angry with His people. He would be completely justified in being angry with us as well but He chose love, compassion and peace instead. It wasn’t an angry God that sent His only son here to die for us. Love nailed Jesus to that cross.

You are encapsulated in a covenant of peace with the creator. Let this be your revelation. Peace surrounds you and even if the mountains shake still God’s lovingkindness will remain with you. His love will never forsake you.