Merciless Moses

Bible Reading: Matthew 18:21–35

For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment (James 2:13)

Moses didn’t catch the finch to satisfy his hunger; he pounced on it because cats catch birds. And since he wasn’t hungry, he didn’t bother to kill his prey. Besides, to kill it would spoil his fun. He growled in anticipation; the finch struggled and cried piteously. Moses crushed a wing; then he let the bird flutter away, almost to safety but not quite. The bird shrieked again and again, desperate to escape. As its frantic efforts weakened, Moses demanded more action, tossing it into the air, extracting the utmost drama from the dying finch. What was idle play for the cat was a nightmarish death for the bird.  

A few years earlier, when Moses was a kitten, he had nearly died an agonizing death himself. Trying to slip through a small hole in a wall, he had gotten stuck. No one knows how long he was there before the girl heard his weak cries and rescued him. Thinking of another baby rescued long ago, she called him Moses. But Moses didn’t consider any of that now as he watched the dying finch with glinting eyes.  

Jesus was instructing humans when He said, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). We have all experienced mercy—not only God’s mercy, but the mercy of our fellow men. We wouldn’t think of torturing a person or animal. But do we ever refuse to forgive? Do we give the “silent treatment” to someone who has hurt or angered us? Do we pass on unsavory information about others? Are we scornful and sarcastic? Do we belittle others? Do we mistreat those who are weaker than we? Do we feel someone’s misfortune “serves him right”? If so, perhaps we are more like Moses than we think.  

Divinely free His mercy flows, forgives my sins, allays my woes. 

From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller  
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610 
Used by permission 


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