Who is God?
He is merciful. Mercy means a person is spared a penalty he actually deserves. The first reference to mercy in the Bible is found in Genesis 19, where God shows mercy to Lot and his family. The angel takes them by the hand and saves their lives—except that Lot’s wife looks back and is punished with death. Lot recognizes God’s mercy. He was spared from death, even though he deserved punishment with the others in Sodom.
God’s mercy is forever.
- For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:5).
- But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children (Psalm 103:17).
- In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer (Isaiah 54:8).
Mercy goes with grace—God’s undeserved favor. Being spared a penalty we deserve and receiving totally undeserved favor is what salvation is all about.
- The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy (Psalm 103:8).
- Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful (Psalm 116:5).
- And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (Joel 2:13).
God is merciful to save sinners.
- And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:13).
- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12).
Now, that’s mercy! God doesn’t even remember our sins. How do we react, as Christians? We also show mercy to others, being forgiving, holding no grudges.
The prophet Micah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, put it this way: He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, he described a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan’s response to a man who’d been robbed and beaten and left to die beside the road. Jesus asked, Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise (Luke 10:36-37).
God is merciful. Praise Him that He spares us from the penalty we deserve.
We should be merciful. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matthew 5:7).
Forgetting others’ sins against you is a huge part of being merciful. Let’s be good forgetters, kind, gracious—immitators of Christ. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
I am thankful God is merciful, aren’t you? Praise Him.