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  • Sarah Hubert

    What is absent from David’s plea for mercy from God? What is absent is any mention of “merit” on David’s part. David is pleading with God for mercy for himself, however his argument is all about God. God created in order to show His glory and to have fellowship with his creation. Humans are designed to love and praise God, to have fullness of joy in communion and adoration of their Creator and Savior. And David relates here to God in full view of these things. ‘Have mercy and save me God, not because I merit it, but so that I can continue to praise you and declare your loyalty.’ It has a similar ring to it as “O Lord, deliver me for Your name’s sake.”

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  • Sarah Hubert

    To you, O Lord, I cried out;
    I begged the Lord for mercy:
    9“What profit is there in taking my life,
    in my descending into the Pit?
    Can the dust of the grave praise you?
    Can it declare your loyalty?
    10Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me!
    O Lord, deliver me!”
    Psalms 30:8-10 NET

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  • Sarah Hubert

    In the middle of this passage (Mat 15:21-28), Jesus cruelly refuses to help this woman who has fallen at his feet begging him to heal her demon-oppressed daughter-- and he adds insult to injury, essentially calling the woman a dog. And yet things are not as they seem. Moments later, not only has Jesus granted the woman’s request and heals her daughter, but he has given her the greatest compliment that Jesus (indeed God) ever gives to anybody. “Oh woman, great is your faith!” Jesus is not impressed with people. Only a few precious times does he encounter someone who’s faith is so great that he comments on it, and this is one of those times. From seeming cruelty and insult, to blessing and great honor. What is going on here?

    Why is this passage so surprising to us? Why do so many of us (at least upon first reading it), take offense at Jesus’ actions and words? I think it’s because we are prideful. How dare Jesus treat that woman that way! Why? He is God. She is a sinful human. She’s not Jewish, and He was working primarily with the Jews (God’s chosen people) at that point… Stop! Right now, look at your heart. Are you offended? Now, imagine a person who has no pride, who deeply understands that they are sinful (meaning corrupted, unclean, evil, not okay, not good, not deserving-- going to have to chuck postmodern self-esteem mantras in order to get this). Would this person with no pride, this humble person, be offended by Jesus? No. The Canaanite woman is humble. She knows that she is nothing, and she’s right. She’s desperate to save her daughter and that’s more important than her reputation. She’s humble enough to come begging at the feet of a Jewish man in public, crossing cultural taboos and inviting criticism and mockery. She’s humble enough to persist when she is ignored and rejected, because she’s not demanding her rights; she’s begging for mercy (which is completely different). Jesus’ comment about children and dogs? Doesn’t phase her. Insults only hurt pride. No pride? No insult taken. Yes, I am a dog, she thinks, but I’ve heard about you. I know that you can help me, and I know that you are merciful. “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

    So uncool. Where is the modern everything woman? Where is the strong, determined, conquering all obstacles, proud, smart, CEO/doctor/supermom/feminist all-in-one package of awesomeness? What is this sniveling, self-demeaning creature begging at the feet of a man?! Shameful! Yes, humility is rather detested today, and faith (in anything other than yourself) is equally yucky. But if we stop posturing for a second and take an objective look we will perhaps have a Solomon moment: The modern self-made, self-believing superwoman (or man), can spend their life and energy in pursuit of progress, wealth, social good, or power. An unwanted child born in the slums of Katmandu can spend their short, miserable life begging for food. But both will end up dust, their earthly accomplishments (or lack thereof) wholly meaningless. They will stand before God and answer for their actions, their thoughts, the intentions of their hearts. Pride will be exposed in all its shamefulness. Humility will shine. Faith will be joyfully victorious, having received its heart desire, and honor to boot.

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  • Sarah Hubert

    21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
    Matthew 15:21-28 ESV

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