“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord…“ Isaiah 1: 18
To abandon the noble fight of justice in favor of mercy is like stepping off a cliff—and a matter of faith, not judgment.
But wasn’t that the point of the crucifixion?
Then if that’s God’s final offer, it’s ours to agree with him or argue with him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph. 2: 8, 9
Matt. 10: 16 is my favorite description of grace to date.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matt. 10: 16
As practiced by Jesus, grace grants justice, but doesn’t demand it. So grace pays its taxes and follows the necessary laws. And while grace readily points out hypocrisy in the practice of the law, it doesn’t accuse or condemn according to it.
So just scratching the surface, the pictures in the above verse speak volumes with the wolves and sheep, but especially with the serpents and the doves regarding grace. All predator and prey to begin with, what does the imagery represent?
“Sheep among wolves.” Jesus is talking to his disciples. Notice he didn’t mention the shepherd. Hmmm…
“Shrewd as serpents” speaks of the devil. Being in the world (the marketplace of judgment), grace knows how it works. As shrewdly as the devil himself.
“Innocent as doves” speaks of the Spirit of God. Not being of the world, while grace might fall prey to the consequences of the marketplace, it reaches out with mercy and stays aloof.
And mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2: 13)