Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!’
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
‘Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Yesterday we got started in a new Sunday morning sermon series titled Jonah: The Relentless Mercy of God. The first sermon was heavy on the call of God to Jonah to take His truth to Nineveh and God’s call to us to go and proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth, starting right where we work, live, and play and extending relentlessly to every tribe and tongue and nation. But, as Christians, may we never forget the relentless mercy of God in our own lives, to save us (justification) and to keep saving us (sanctification) and to one day save us (glorification).
This relentless posture of pursuit, to the infinite degree, is displayed by God in the book of Jonah and in the lives of so many more of God’s chosen children.
Back in “the day”, Francis Thompson wrote a great poem titled The Hound of Heaven. Some saw it as sacrilege to compare God to a hound dog, but i think those folks really missed the point. The point is that a hound (if trained properly), when on the scent will not stop until it has tracked the source of that scent. This relentless posture of pursuit, to the infinite degree, is displayed by God in the book of Jonah and in the lives of so many more of God’s chosen children.
John Stott, in his book Why I Am a Christian, speaks to this relentless mercy of God on display in his life and he even talks about the before mentioned and below included poem by Francis Thompson. Here is what Stott says:
Why I am a Christian is due ultimately neither to the influence of my parents and teachers, nor to my own personal decision for Christ, but to “the Hound of Heaven.” That is, it is due to Jesus Christ himself, who pursued me relentlessly even when I was running away from him in order to go my own way. And if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the Hound of Heaven I would today be on the scrapheap of wasted and discarded lives.
As children of God, if we truly reckon the lostness of our depraved souls, before we knew Jesus and in comparison to the holiness and self-sufficiency of God, we can all relate to this poem about the relentless mercy of God. But i am sure that for some of us it will ring very very true. Feel free to comment below celebrating the relentless mercy of God at work in your life. Oh, and enjoy the poem.