August 22, 2011
For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee. Psalm 86:5
Last week United Press International carried the sad story of Sarfaraz Shah.
Let me try to summarize that story. It begins this way: Unarmed Sarfaraz Shah was only 17-years-old when he was shot in a Karachi, Pakistan, park.
It seems some paramilitary soldiers had caught Shah trying to steal from some folks and they threatened the wayward lad. Apparently, they told him they would save him the time and inconvenience of a court trial by executing him on the spot.
Cameras from a local TV station show that Shah took those threats seriously. The tape shows the boy begging for mercy, begging for his life.
He was still begging for mercy when they shot him.
After that, Shah stopped begging to be spared and began begging to be taken to a hospital. It was at the hospital that 17-year-old Sarfaraz Shah bled to death.
Although this case is extreme, it does show that the mighty of this world -- those who are drunk with power -- really don't have much appreciation for the concept of mercy. They look upon mercy as being synonymous with weakness.
That's the kind of attitude which should make us even more appreciative of our Lord and His attitude toward sinful humankind.
Because of our sins, God could have summarily ended our relationship, could have snuffed out our lives. That He chose not to do so is amazing. That He decided to send His Son into the world to take our place under the Law, to bear our punishment, to die our death is beyond comprehension.
This is why we who have been called to faith by the Holy Spirit ought to join with the Psalmist and say, "For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."
We have a God who is plenteous in mercy. It's something to remember and hold on to when we read our newspaper or watch the news.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for treating me in a way far better than I deserve, I give thanks to You. For sending Your Son to pay my debts, I shall be eternally grateful. May I hold on to these wonderful truths when I am confronted by the sad and sorry stories of man's inhumanity. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries