The Mercy Of God
By sis Tan Geok Eng
Psa 145:8 - The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
God’s great mercy for mankind is not only shown in the Old Testament; it is also manifested in the New Testament through His great love. Rom 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
What is Mercy? Mat 9:11-13 - And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mat 12:7 - But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
In Barnes Commentary on Mt 9:11-13: When the Pharisees complained at our Lord for eating with Publicans and sinners, He bade them, “Go and learn what that meaneth. I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” He bade them learn that deeper meaning of the words, that God valued mercy for the souls for which Christ died, above that outward propriety, that He, the All-Holy, should not feast familiarly with those who profaned God’s law and themselves.
The New Testament Greek word ‘eleeo’ is translated ‘mercy’ (compassion, pity), the same Greek word for compassion and pity used in Mt 18:33 “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?”
Examples of Mercy
In Mat 20:30 - And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. - These two blind men were pleading for Jesus to have mercy on them, to heal them from their blindness.
And in Mat 20:34 - So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. - Despite the fact that Jesus was compassionate (was moved) by their misfortunes, He valued their lost souls even more. The result was that the two blind men followed Jesus.
In the Old Testament we read of God’s mercy towards David, whom God called “a man after God’s own heart” despite his sins.
Why is Mercy important to us?
The word “mercy” is mentioned 276 times in the Bible and 37 verses are found relating to the mercy of God. It is so important that God frequently reminds us of it in the Bible. Without the mercy of God, we are lost eternally.
In the Clarke Commentary on Mt 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”, Clarke wrote that “Mercy is not purchased but at the price of mercy itself; and even this price is a gift of the mercy of God. Indeed, it is a price far too much for anyone on earth can give.” This we can see clearly in Tit 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
Mercy for lost souls is highly valued by God and was exhibited in the life of Jesus during His ministry on earth towards the lost souls (Lk 19:10).
Psa 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
Luk 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
Luk 1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
The wicked people of Nineveh, and even the king, believed in God and proclaimed a fast when Jonah told them God was going to destroy them in forty days if they did not turn from their evil ways. We also read that Jonah was displeased when God spared their lives. (Jon 4:1) We should not be like Jonah in being displeased when God shows mercy.
Warning to those who reject God’s mercy
2Pe 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
We must remember that mercy is not something that God owes us. God grants us mercy because He is longsuffering. His patience towards us is because He does not wish for us to be punished in eternal condemnation but that all should come to repentance and be saved.
Therefore, Jude urges us to keep ourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jud 1:21). Let us remember Jesus’ words: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Joh 14:15)