‘That through your mercy (Israel) also may obtain mercy… The question is: Do we have a mercy that we can extend?’
At right, 'mercy' was withheld in the first Ha Shoah ('Holocaust')
'The issue of mercy is the key issue of the End – that they might obtain mercy by the mercy that you extend. The question is: Do we have a mercy that we can extend? Have we received mercy? Are we conscious of that mercy? Do we recognize that what we have been receiving these days is mercy? This purest mercy is what has gone forth over these tables?*
"But, if we don’t see it as that – we’ll have an attitude of matter-of-factness. We cannot obtain it as mercy, and we cannot extend it as mercy. So, we need to become much more mercy-conscious that mercy is not a platitude, that mercy is not a doctrine. Mercy is an existential reality. And, that we’re living by the mercies of God that are new every morning. The mercies that endure? Are we conscious of that, of how frail our lives are?
Maybe that's why God will bring a stud like me into a place of such sickness and dependency that my fever is up or down in such variables as cannot be contained, just to show me the frailty of this life.
" 'It's not you, Katz. The breath that's in your mouth is my mercy. That you came to this school out of it - without inspiration... And if anything has been taking place of any consequence - it's my Mercy!'
"So, I’m enjoining the church to appropriate mercy in a palpable existential way such that you’ll have it to extend. But, if mercy is only for you a doctrine, only a statement of a rhetorical, verbal kind and not an actuality, that’s not a mercy that can be extended to them. They will not need a statement; they will need a reality. And, we’ll have it in proportion as we have received it – and are continuing to receive it.
"Our every day is a mercy. The church needs to become conscious of the mercies that are new every morning that endure forever. We live by His mercies. We’re capable of nothing. Anything that comes is of His mercy. It’s not only our initial salvation; it’s our continuing salvation. It’s the privilege of the school. It’s the privilege of relationship.
As I lay on the hospital bed, and I thought of the band of souls with whom I’m knit and those over the years. I cherished each one as a gift from God, a mercy. I'm seeing the saints in a new light, a deeper appreciation as being the very extension of God’s mercy.
"So, that’s the heart of it at the End – that we will have a mercy to extend when, if they don’t receive it from us, from who will they receive it? And, if they don’t receive it from us – they will perish. For they will be in the place of ultimate extremity. They will be banged out of shape. They’ll be nigh unto death. They will be dark and despairing and without hope.
The people who died in the Holocaust weren’t necessarily the physically weakest. They were the people bereft of any hope. Those who survived had some hope by which their life was sustained however much on a thread."
We’re going to have a people come to us who’ll be totally emptied of any confidence which they formerly have had in themselves, in man, in the world. And they’ll be devoid of anything and be the objects of abuse from forces of hatred calculated for their annihilation. And in that condition, they’ll need our mercy. They’ll need it physically. They’ll need it psychologically. They’ll need it emotionally. They’ll need it spiritually.
"The issue is: will we have it to give? Will we be willing to give it when to be observed giving it makes you a candidate for persecution? It’s not a mercy that you’ll be able to give at your convenience. It’s a mercy that you will give at sacrifice. And when you’re willing to give it at sacrifice for them when they are everywhere hated – how can they not be moved to jealousy and say, ‘What is it with you? What is different about you? Why aren’t you joining them and hating us as everyone else? Why are you willing to take these risks? Why are you being kind? Why are you extending yourself? Why are you making yourself a candidate to be persecuted yourself? What did we ever do for you that you should be extending yourself for us?’
"That’s the mystery."
*2006 summer Prophetic School
(Go to http://benisraelblog.blogspot.com/ to view Ben Israel Fellowship blog)