7/14 Psalm 18:25-26

25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; 26 with the purified you show yourself pure; and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.

We will reap what we sow. Our problem is that in our hearts we can't find mercy or be blameless or pure. We need the One who is to remove our stubborn resistance to His goodness. Until He does, we are the crooked who find God to seem tortuous. That is because that is what it takes to get us to bow our knees. His resistance of our evil is due to His nature, but also to His desire to turn us from our wickedness.

Once we bow the knee and surrender to Him, suddenly we see how merciful He is. This explains why those who are not redeemed seem to be resisting God, even hating the thought of Him. They see Him continually resisting them. Until they bow the knee and receive His mercy, they will never comprehend it.

Surrendered to His lordship over our lives, we see Him as blameless and pure. Before, we accused God of all kinds of evil. Now we see that all He does is holy and just. Even when we can't understand His hand, we can trust His heart. And because we begin to see the goodness of His nature as it applies to us, and we are expected to show that same nature toward others. We, too, are to resist evil and to be merciful, pure, and blameless. Jesus tells us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12). He tells to forgive one another if we desire to be forgiven (Matthew 6:15).

Consider: If you find God to be tortuous, submit to Him and know His mercy. If you have done that but still find Him to be stern, ask yourself if you are representing His nature to others.