For the Elect's Sake
except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh
should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath
chosen, he hath shortened the days. (Mark 13.20)
destruction of Jerusalem was a divine judgment upon the
nation of Judah. They had forsaken the Lord, and despite
repeated warnings from God through the prophets, they had
not repented, but had continued in their hard-hearted,
stiff-necked ways until God brought this calamity upon them.
Historians, particularly Josephus, record the almost
unbelievable suffering that went on, not only during the
siege, but also afterward in the resulting famine. “For in
those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the
beginning of the creation which God created unto this time,
neither shall be” (v. 19). The suffering was of such a
degree that the Lord here tells us that had it not been for
the Lord’s gracious intervention into the situation, no one
would have been delivered from it. Some were saved, but none
would have been had it not been for the mercy and
longsuffering of God.
reason for the shortening of the days of suffering is
clearly stated: “for the elect’s sake.” God did it because
of his elect people who were within the city. He spared the
city from additional suffering because of the presence of
his people within her. God had respect unto his own election
and bestowed mercy because of it.
It is a
tremendously comforting to know that God remembers his elect
people in their times of trial, even when those trials come
about as a result of our own sinfulness. He thinks upon us,
remembers us, and his heart is touched with our tribulation.
He thinks upon us, but in so doing He thinks upon his own
choosing verse before ours that encourages us to seek God
and His Kingdom.
remembers his electing love and takes pity upon us. “In
wrath remember mercy,” Habakkuk prayed unto God. Though his
judgments are upon his people, yet “he will not always
chide: neither will he keep his anger forever’ (Ps. 103.9).
Thank God for his tender mercies toward his elect people!