Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too, as a result of God’s mercy to you, have become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. (Romans 11:30-32)
This past Mother’s Day, my daughter, Rebecca, wrote in my card, “Thank you for supporting me, loving me, and always being my biggest fan. Life isn’t always easy, but your unconditional love and endless encouragement has helped me overcome so much!” Love returned is wonderful. Her card made my heart and eyes overflow with love and tears. I can imagine that our praise wells up in God’s heart also.
Love for a child is different than love for a spouse, a sibling, or a parent. A child is formed in your image, even if they are grafted into your family. We nurture them, teach them, and care for them. They become part of us. Your baby reaches to hold your finger, but he or she also grabs your heart.
Then, they become teenagers. It is time for them to separate themselves from you, and they become rebellious. They make big mistakes: cars are crashed, drugs are found, a child is carried home by his friends, unconscious after drinking too much. There are consequences for both you and your child, but you love them so much; you have mercy.
Just as childless people can’t completely understand the realm of love a parent has for a child, we can’t comprehend a love that is greater than our own – the love of God.
God will show mercy to all Jews, all Gentiles (the full number), and all backsliders. He loves us all. Who could be face to face with Jesus, feeling incredible love, and not be changed to believe in Him. Since he will have mercy on us all, none of us are His enemies.