Merciful Judgment (Part three of parable in Segment #6, Rescued by Mercy)

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Merciful Judgment

If you have a willing attitude and obey, then you will again eat the good crops of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured …” (Isa.1:19-20 NET).

Parable Continues (Part 3 of 4):

LuAnn’s heart ached. She wanted a relationship with Stephanie, not simply duties done as if her daughter were her servant. She wanted her daughter to know the rules were made because of love for her. There’s even defiance in her compliance, she thought.

Uneasiness grew in Lu Ann as the days went by. One day when Lu Ann prayed, the thought came to her that something was wrong in Stephanie’s room. While Stephanie was in the shower, Lu Ann followed her nose and found a half-filled ashtray and cigarettes in a dresser drawer. She felt sick when she saw a pile of unacceptable magazines under the bed. Behind the stereo, a whiskey bottle. Almost as if an invisible hand led her, she opened the closet door and looked in a back corner. There she found a stash of illegal drugs and needles. With weak knees, Lu Ann forced herself back up the stairs just before Stephanie came out of the shower.

LuAnn collapsed into a chair and dropped her face into her hands. “Oh God,” she prayed. “What should I do?”

About a half hour later, the door bell rang. Lu Ann answered it, then squared her shoulders and proceeded down the steps to confront Stephanie, who sat on the floor painting her toenails. “Stephanie …” Lu Ann sat on the bed. “You haven’t been following the house rules.”

“Sure I have. I’ve done what you told me to,” she said coldly, not meeting her eyes.

“No, you haven’t.” Lu Ann told her what she’d found.

“You invaded my privacy! I can’t believe you’d do that!” Stephanie yelled. Her eyes blazed. She got up and slammed the fingernail-polish bottle down on the dresser.

With tears in her eyes, Lu Ann said firmly, “You’ve broken the rules and have to suffer the consequences. I’ve called the police.

“Mom! How could you?” She grabbed her duffel bag and stuffed things into it.

Lu Ann motioned to the policeman who’d followed her down the stairs, and pointed to the closet. He examined the stash while Stephanie bolted for the door. Another policeman blocked her exit. “You’re under arrest for possession of illegal drugs young lady.” He snapped handcuffs on her wrists.

“I hate you!” Stephanie yelled at her mother as the policemen took her away.


 Discussion of Parable:

Loving parents like LuAnn agonize at enforcing consequences of their children’s rebellion. Likewise, God’s heart breaks when his children suffer the consequences of their rebellion. Isaiah talks about consequences for God’s chosen people, Israel. Yet, as Isaiah1:18-20 says, in spite of all Israel’s rebellion, God is willing to forgive. His purpose in allowing painful consequences is to “thoroughly purge away your dross, and remove your impurities.” (Isa.1:25 NIV).

  • Do you know how precious you are to God? Read Isaiah 43:4 and Lam.4:1. 

Like Gold, you may have to go through many steps in order to become what your Creator meant you to be. Gold ore has to, first of all, be blasted out of a mountain, then crushed, ground, amalgamated, heated, soaked in cyanide, then melted so the dross can be removed. Then the gold is cast into bars, flattened, beaten, cut, and beaten again until light shines through. Then it is ready for lettering, gilding, and gold lace.

Purifying hurts, but the end result is worth it.

Parable part 4 continues in a couple days.

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