“The wise will observe and heed … and will diligently consider the Mercy of the Lord.” (Psalm 107:43)
One of the most difficult attributes of God that the natural man wrestles with is His Mercy. There’s just something in the old sin nature that believes that there must be punishment for sin, for mistakes, and even, some believe, for weaknesses. We see this inclination manifested in cultures, religions, politics …. in virtually every aspect of human life, all over the world. “You’ve got to reap what you sow.” “You’re going to pay for this!” “You had this coming to you !” Why is this? Why do people without the knowledge of the Love, Grace, and Mercy of God gravitate to self-flagellation, mentally, emotionally and in some cases, physically – for themselves as well as for others?
Mercy magnifies the immeasurable Love and unchanging character of God.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent successfully tempted Eve to sin, and Adam to follow. The father of all lies convinced them that God was withholding something desirable and good from them – i.e., he defamed God’s character to them. After biting the serpent’s bait, right away the “father and mother” of all mankind sought to hide themselves from the God with Whom, up to this point, they had enjoyed such constant and intimate communion. Why? They were ashamed, because conscience had just been born into their souls, and they were afraid. Of what? Undoubtedly of retribution from God. Yes, there would be a cost for their disobedience to Him, greatly altering their location and their lives, but with that “penalty” came a provision from the Father of Mercies, Who, as broken-hearted as He was that they had chosen to go against His command, made sure that they were covered from their nakedness, making tunics of skin to clothe them (Genesis 3:21) and giving them logistical grace to work, reproduce, and simply live, although they were separated from Him and the sweet, intimate fellowship they all once enjoyed. So even way back “in the beginning”, long before the dispensation of Grace, God was manifesting His Love, Grace and Mercy to man. Ultimately He would destroy the works of the devil by manifesting His Son, Jesus Christ (I John 3:8), but here in Genesis we see the first trickle of His Mercy towards mankind, which will keep flowing out to “the crown of His creation” until He pours it out without measure at the Cross. Thus it was that the works of the devil, from the beginning of time to the end, were destroyed, as the Son of God was manifested for Who He was. And from before the beginning of life on earth, satan has hated the Mercy of God, because he has known from the pre-determinate Council of God that he would never be a recipient of it (Acts 2:23; Job 1:9; Ezek.28:16-19). Thus, he will do all he can to prevent us from remembering, receiving, and giving it. BUT GOD delights in Mercy (Micah 7:18) and in those who hope in it (Psa.147:11) and requires, in fact, that we love it, too! (Micah 6:8). Indeed, he that is wise will.
” … patiently look for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life.” (Jude 21)He patiently waits to give us Mercy and asks us to patiently look for it. Click To Tweet
In Psalm 107 we read how the Israelites often strayed from the Lord and from His ways and were thus frequently brought to their wits’ end. BUT somehow, in their trouble, they remembered the Character of their God enough to cry out to Him in their distresses; and He delivered them out of trouble every time (vv.6,13,19,28)! This Psalm beautifully illustrates how unfailing are the mercies of God. They are available without interruption, and He is eager to extend them to us: ” … the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.” (Isaiah 30:18) He patiently waits to give us Mercy and asks us to patiently look for it. Jeremiah understood this:
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)Can we grasp how important, how paramount it is to our overall health to know the Lord's mercies ... and to receive them? Click To Tweet
Can we grasp how important, how paramount it is to our overall health to know the Lord’s mercies … and to receive them? What are they like? The Word of God describes them clearly and attractively. They are everlasting (Psalm 103:17); they are sure (Acts 13:34); they are tender (Luke 1:78; Colossians 3:12); they are unfailing (Lam.3:22); they are great (II Sam.24:14). Furthermore, the One Who is so eager and ready to shower us with them is “the Father of mercies” (II Cor.1:3)! He is also “the God of all Grace” (I Peter 5:10) Who will give us Grace to receive Grace to come to the Throne of Grace that we might obtain mercy and thus be able to give mercy in return, to others. There really is no reason therefore that we would not continually be delighting Him by hoping in and receiving this unending, unfailing Mercy. Indeed, it is vital that we do, for others’ sake as well as our own and for His pleasure.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
Recently, here in Western Massachusetts, there were an estimated 20,000 people gathered at what is called The Shrine of Divine Mercy. I asked the lady I work for, who was participating in this annual event, what it is all about. She simply said, “People are looking for Mercy”. It was in fact this response that triggered the topic of this post! I imagined possible stories that would be created by people with pure, believing, trusting hearts towards the Lord, people who attended this gathering in faith in Him to heal and deliver them. Would most of them not be so grateful, so overwhelmed with His goodness to them that they would be available and even quick to give mercy to others? To let mercy rejoice over judgment (James 2:13)? To reveal to them that His mercy alone will surely follow them and not condemnation or guilt or shame (Psa.23:6)?
If we are truly wise, we will consider how merciful He has consistently been to His people from the beginning of the Creation to present. We will by faith receive Mercy and receive it abundantly and frequently; or we just won’t have what people now, as throughout all ages past, are crying out for and looking for: the unfailing, tender, sure, abundant, everlasting mercies of God.