Severe Mercy

london fire

“In wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk. 3:2)

We often think of God’s judgment as the antithesis of mercy. Rightly understood, judgment may actually be one of the greatest expressions of God’s mercy.  Malcolm Smith described judgment as “a tourniquet applied by a loving God to keep a hemorrhaging world from bleeding to death.”

Sometimes God steps in to save us from ourselves.

In 1665 the Black Plague swept through the city of London. The disease was carried by fleas that lived as parasites on rats. The city was infested with the vermin and in short order the plague spread throughout London. According to one estimate the disease killed 40,000 dogs, 200,000 cats, and more than 1,000 people per week. By August 1666 as many as 6,000 people died per week.

The disease spread unchecked until the night of September 2, 1666 when a careless maid started a small fire in a baker’s shop on Pudding Lane. The blaze soon became an inferno. Fanned by the east wind, the fire quickly spread across the city.

The fire raged for four days and destroyed 80% of London. More than 13,000 homes were reduced to ashes. The city was nearly destroyed, but the people were saved because the fire burned up the rats and burned out the infectious disease.

The destructive blaze razed the city but saved the people.

Right now our country is hemorrhaging. God loves us too much to let us bleed to death.

 

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