Can we truly appreciate just what God has done for us and why? Do we understand just how profound His mercy is to be to us?
It has been a long standing effort for secularists to reduce mercy down to the simple point of "unconditional compassion" and "Divine Tolerance". This effort has even infiltrated the modern church. Judging by the biblical accounts given here, this notion is simply not so.
Some references as starting point for our discussion:
Quoted resource: torrey 'mercy of God'
Mercy and Truth together
Mercy and truth met kjv@Psalms:85:10 together in God. Two seeming opposites touch.
God's mercy cannot be fully understood without first understanding His truth.
- Big picture from His perspective:
- God is in the midst of dealing with a fallen human race in it's entirity whose heart He has subjected to vainity in the greater hope of eventual reconcilliation kjv@Romans:8:20
- The heart of mankind presently is decieptive above all else kjv@Jeremiah:17:9 and God's measures to restore are fought against and distorted at all levels.
- His merciful delay from executing His final judgement emboldens their hearts all the more kjv@Ecclesiastes:8:11.
- The establishment of a small nation (Israel) to become the focal point for all the other nations to observe God's pleasure and displeasure, His presence when they were close and His seeming abandonment when they acted in His name yet were far from Him. kjv@1Chronicles:17:21 kjv@Nehemiah:13:26 kjv@Isaiah:11:12 kjv@Isaiah:55:5 kjv@Jeremiah:31:10
- The establishment of a written Law amongst them that confirmed the conviction of Law inescapably written on all people's hearts. kjv@Romans:1:20 kjv@Romans:2:15 kjv@Romans:4:15 kjv@Romans:5:13 kjv@Romans:8:7 kjv@Galatians:3:24
- The compilation of several books of writtings into one book that spoke in overall pictures and trigger points to counter the deficiets of human language and translation.
- The confirmation of the integrity of the message where ever the message is sincerly proclaimed by signs and wonders. kjv@Acts:2:22 kjv@Acts:5:12 kjv@Romans:15:19 kjv@2Corinthians:12:12 kjv@Hebrews:2:4
- Utilizating various persons to further His gospel good/bad, knowing/unknowing, willing/unwilling, devout/non-devout, even pagan nations to move and spred and dispurse, to infiltrate and subvert all barriers and plans to the contrary worldwide.
- That they will continue moving away from Him.
- That He will have to retrieve time and time again.
- not even miricals will sustain their interest for but a short time.
filter:OT merc AND God
God's mercy is evidenced in kjv@Genesis:18:20-32. Prior to the destruction of Sodom. Abram questions the LORD as to the possibility that if any (50,45,40,30,20,10) righteous men remain in the city whether the Lord would spare the entire city. The answer was "yes", but, only Lot was found righteous in the city however.
- From this we perhaps should consider:
- The sin of a city was great no doubt but, it is also the cry of the city that concerned God. The combination of the two is what God had to deal with.
- Not knowing exactly what that sin was nor exactly what that cry felt and sounded like, we must trust that God only knew what was best in this situation. This could have ended differently. Notice however... God's mercy was in play even unto the end.
- God's greater purpose could have been served by ten righteous amongst tens of thousands of unrighteous had He been able to find those few individuals present. Left to the facts on the ground, God did what had to be done.
- As on lookers today, we have the oppurtunity to see the events at Sodom as an educational manifestation of the interplay of His mercy and His truth, the potential of a few of God's righteous, and the utter disregard of sinners.
(note: Some are quick to criticize a "merciful" God that would do this without themselves knowing neither the "great cry H2201 " nor the "grievous sin" that God was pointing our attention to; how this may have been the greatest mercy to them of all).
Millenniums later, in kjv@Nehemiah:9 we are privy to one of the greatest Old Testament spiritual revivals recorded (an entire nation) circa 500 B.C.. Here the nearly one thousand year experience of the Israelites (Moses - Persian Captivity) is summarized as a repeating series of up and down cycles of deliverance and then falling away.
- God's mercy was confessed by them then as being:
- kjv@Nehemiah:9:19 manifold - not forsaking, not departing, leading, showing the way.
- kjv@Nehemiah:9:27 hearing cries, providing individuals that deliver them from hand of enemy.
- kjv@Nehemiah:9:28 allowing them their own way, not withholding consequence, delivering upon their return/cry.
- kjv@Nehemiah:9:31 not utterly consuming, not completely forsaking (for His own mercies sake).
- kjv@Nehemiah:9:32 their trouble not little before Him
- In context it should also be noted that:
- God's mercy in this case is shown toward a chosen collective of people amongst whom His stated purpose of establishing a future world messiah would be fulfilled.
- It was intended for other nations (of that time and this) to observe and thus learn of God's all encompassing mercy for themselves.
- It was upon that nation's conviction of and confession of their sin and the sin of their fathers that God's great mercy was brought to light.
- The collective product of many peoples faith was what was dealt with both negatively and positively.
Biblical mercy presupposes sin. Unless one sees the absolute need and purpose of God's mercy in their daily life, one has very little use/awareness for it. Israel/Judah would have no use for mercy repeatedly for long extended periods of time because of the hardness of their collective heart (ex = filter:OT evil+in+the+sight ); not until they had brought themselves low would they occasionally see the need. During these brief revivals, mercy was nearly all that they could talk about.
Another good bible source for examples of understanding and reliance upon God's mercy is found throughout the Psalms kjv@STRING:mercy+AND+Psalms as we see several authors seek for it in the course of their circumstances.
- Here is a brief list of where they found God's mercy in their own lives:
- kjv@Psalms:6:4 returning, delivering, saving soul
- kjv@Psalms:31:16 making His face to shine upon, saving
- kjv@Psalms:44:26 arising to help, redeeming
- kjv@Psalms:51:1 blotting out transgression
- kjv@Psalms:79:8 remembering not inequities, preventing (from being brought low)
- kjv@Psalms:103:4 redeeming from destruction, crowning with kindness/mercy
- kjv@Psalms:119:41 allowing mercies to come, even salvation
- kjv@Psalms:119:77 allowing mercies to come, that we may live
- It should be noted:
- God's mercy in most of these cases is being shown to individuals in the leadership of the larger mass.
- The individuals here are being fiercely pursued by a relentless enemy of the ungodly because of their attempted godly stance and actions; add that their own humanness is making the fight all the more difficult.
- They are often looking initially for a mercy that by the end of the psalm they realize has been there all along.
- The timing of mercy is often seen as developing a godly reliance/patience/obedience/perseverance in the course of establishing the greater godly good.
- Word Study:
- H2603 חנן chânan khaw-nan'
- H2604 חנן chănan khan-an' (Chaldee)
- H2617 חסד chêsêd kheh'-sed
- H7355 רחם râcham raw-kham'
filter:NT merc AND God
Enter Jesus. A great many filter:NT-GOSPEL mery on asked Jesus to have a personal healing mercy on them. Jesus obliged (in fact he got into big trouble over these offerings of mercy).
- We see His mercy on:
- those that fear Him kjv@Luke:1:50
- those that are likewise merciful kjv@Matthew:5:7
- whom he will kjv@Romans:9:15
- performing the promise made to the "Fathers" (the holy covenant) kjv@Luke:1:72
- Let's then ask:
- Jesus obliged them, but, was he obligated?
- Did Jesus do anything that did not serve God's greater purpose?
It is in the Jesus's sacrifice on the cross that we see God's greatest act of mercy:
Later, we get a post cruxification glimpse of the Apostle Paul's understanding of God's mercy (and therefore dependence upon) via his usage of the word throughout his letters (filter:NT-EPISTLES-PAUL merc ).
In particular (kjv@Galatians:1:13-16 kjv@1Timothy:1:13-16) we see how it is that Paul himself had been transformed from a dead religion; a religion filled with all the devotion and the sacrifice and the righteousness, but, lacking the life blood - God's mercy.
- Again it should be noted:
- In God's granting mercy to Paul it is intended by God to serve and establish the greater good of the believing body of Christ (past/present/future).
- Mercy was extended to those individuals who assisted the "Christ" cause along the way.
- In Romans alone, Paul makes some very revealing statements about his understanding of God's mercy:
- kjv@Romans:9:16 not of him that runneth but of God
- kjv@Romans:11:30 Gentiles obtained through Hebrews unbelief
- kjv@Romans:11:32 all concluded in unbelief so that mercy to all
- kjv@Romans:12:1 motivates reasonable service
- kjv@Romans:15:9 that Gentiles might glorify
- Entire race "all" addressed in two parts - Hebrews and Gentiles (non-Hebrews)
- Designed with intend of moving masses toward very specific results
- Word Study:
- G1653 ἐλεέω eleeō el-eh-eh'-o
- G1656 ἔλεος eleos el'-eh-os
- G3628 οἰκτιρμός oiktirmos oyk-tir-mos'
- G1655 ἐλεήμων eleēmōn el-eh-ay'-mone
What we must ask ourselves is "where is God's mercy found today"?
Can you see it?
Have we experienced it?
Has it affected us as deeply as it is meant to?
- I feel that the bible speaks of four inter dependent variations to God's mercy:
- A general mercy that the Creator has toward all of His creation kjv@Psalms:145:9
- A more personable day to day mercy toward reverent/repentant individuals filter:NT-GOSPEL mercy on .
- A specific mercy towards the bodies of individuals (OT Israel/Judah - NT Bride/Body of Christ) that He has chosen to establish His greater purpose toward all mankind. kjv@1Peter:2:10
- A great and final mercy purchased upon His Cross. kjv@Hebrews:2:17
All four of these outlets work in conjunction with each other to bring about the fullness of God's Will.
It should be mentioned that in the greater context of both Old and New Testaments, God's mercy is best understood (even to individuals) as being purposeful and deliberate to God's greater design and intent for setting apart all of faithful mankind for His Lordship.
The numerous examples recorded for us in the Bible should be probing inquiry into the present state of our hearts individually and collectively lest will fall into the same religious traps as both the Old and the New Testament followers (see kjv@1Corinthians:10:1-6).
While mercy is indeed toward us as individuals, one should not forget that often it is dispensed toward the larger group, seemingly linking us (couple, family, fellowship, congregation, nation, world) as inexhaustibly inter dependent to each other. In this light, the importance of our reciprocal mercy to those around us becomes all the more apparent.
In mercy, the true sin nature of individual man is fully exposed, but, so too is the richness of God's most tender outreach and commitment (see filter:OT-POET truth AND mercy ).
http://www.gospeltruth.net/1845OE/450507_gods_mercy.htm - Charles Finney
http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/1907.htm - Charles Spurgeon
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