Monday, August 07, 2006

Mercy

You've probably noticed how that so many Biblical phrases and concepts have become cultural colloquialisms. Ecclesiastes 10:20 originates "a little birdy told me." Unfortunately, this commonality of Biblical phraseology has profaned God's name in most instances. And then we have the attributes of God that pop up in everyday vocabulary: grace, goodness, holy, and mercy. They often get devalued severely in the process. I hope you'll agree, but even if you don't, I'm convinced of it myself at the halfway point.

One of these attributes, I would like to elevate for you, to help encourage you some. It is God's mercy. What is mercy? I think we can understand mercy by thinking about grace. Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. To understand the mercy of God, we need to understand how much we personally offend God. Many people turn away from God because they think that He has been hard on them. The truth is so opposite of that. God's mercy is great. Of course, Scripture teaches that. 2 Chronicles 7:3: "And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 57:10: "For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds." Psalm 100:5: "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." All 25 verses of Psalm 136 end with "His mercy endureth forever."

God is holy. God cannot look upon unrighteousness. God is just. We deserve the immediate destruction of God, but He "is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish" (2 Peter 3:9). God allows us space to repent. He doesn't immediately strike us down. Besides that great mercy that extends forgiveness and eternal life, God has provided so much. Consider Job 38:25-28:
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
God causes rain. He makes the plants to grow. He gives every good and perfect gift. Think of air supply. It doesn't get cut off. God protects the planet from unfathomable disaster and tragedy. All of it? No. But enough to see His love everywhere. Trees. Grass. Plenteous foods. Bodies that feel almost incalculable pleasure in so many different sensations, that about each one could write a book. He is a good God, and all of this out of His mercy. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, who suffered untold tragedies and loss in his life, of which each of us could not find comparable at our worst, wrote these words about God in Lamentations 3:22:
It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
I think most of us expect so much more than to be consumed, but we deserve it. Because of God, we have hope. Man brings despare and agony. Our sins bring reproach and distress. The curse of sin causes the creation to groan for its day of redemption. But God's mercy gives us hope and opportunity, a new day, a fresh start, and a bright tomorrow.

We should flee to God even if it is because of His mercies alone. In Romans 12:1 we are beseeched by the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice. God's mercies should motivate us, make us smile. God doesn't want to destroy. He wants to save. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Why? His mercy.

Please don't pass by the mercy of God. Look to it. Things may be hard for you right now, or you think they are. They should be worse. Look to the mercy of God. Warm at it. Smile at it. Feel it. I beg you to stop looking at the troubles and the hardships. They look rough. I'm not saying that they aren't. But God's mercies are greater. Bask in them today and then tomorrow, because you can.

3 comments:

Bill H. said...

Great article. What a blessing! and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Amen!!! Praise our Heavenly Father for His attributes. Also, to take hold of God´s mercy is by faith, acknowledging that He is a good God.

Juan

MattBrasel said...

“We should flee to God even if it is because of His mercies alone. In Romans 12:1 we are beseeched by the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice. God's mercies should motivate us, make us smile. God doesn't want to destroy. He wants to save. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Why? His mercy.”

Ge 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

It is sad that often we forget that God (In His Mercy) wants us to do well and have the victory but instead we stew in our conviction and we give up when what He is doing is encouraging us to lay aside the weight and move forward.