My Musings – I came across the following quote in a news article today that was covering the wildfires raging on the West coast of the United States — “It’s like God has no sympathy, no empathy for Sonoma County.” I would hate to think about what things would really be like if this was true. The difference between the terms used in the quote is:
- Sympathy is feeling compassion, sorrow, or pity for the hardships that another person encounters. “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (Exodus 34:6–7, NIV 1984).
- Empathy is putting yourself in the shoes of another. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV 1984).
It may seem to us at times that God has no sympathy or empathy for mankind, but nothing could be further from the truth. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned.” (John 3:16–18, NIV 1984).
My Advice – To not believe in God’s sympathy and empathy carries a very high cost, because the cost to God was very high. In fact, “whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18, NIV 1984). “He [will] not leave the guilty [unbelievers] unpunished.” (Exodus 34:7, NIV 1984).
“How shall we escape if we ignore [not accept] so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3, NIV 1984).