God is merciful
by Joey Carroll Corinth Missionary Baptist Church
The God who created the heavens and the earth has been so thorough in revealing who He is and what He is like. He first revealed His eternal power and divine nature through the act of Creation. He then described Himself with great detail and clarity in His Word, the Bible. And then finally and fully, He reveals the fullness of all that He is in the person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. And in all of the wonderful and glorious attributes of God, His mercy is one that certainly draws our hearts to Him.
In that great moment in Scripture, when Moses asks the Lord to “show me your glory,” as the Lord passes by in front of Moses, He gives to us the most clear description of what He is like. And the first word the Lord uses to describe Himself in that moment is merciful. Exodus 34:6 states, “And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,’” (KJV).
What great news! The God who created all things and the God who is the Judge of all things is exactly who we hoped He would be, a God of mercy. But of all the demonstrations of that mercy found in the Bible, His greatest display of mercy is found in the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ.
Paul writes in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved,” (NASB).
The richness of the mercy of God has rescued all those who have faith in Christ!
To understand the richness of God’s mercy, you would first need to understand the depth of man’s sinfulness. And so Paul precedes His declaration of the mercy of God with a sober description of the heart of every man. “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest,” (Ephesians 2:1-3, NASB).
It should be very humbling to know that we are not only sinful and rebellious at heart, but all of our rebellion is directed toward the same loving God who made us, provides for us, and constantly cares for us. And that sin and rebellion has justly left all of mankind under the judgment of God. But that is exactly where we see the mercy of God shine its brightest. At our worst moment, God demonstrated who He was by sending His Son. Out of mercy and love, the God who we had rebelled against through sin, sent His Son to suffer the wrath we deserved. When Jesus Christ died on that cross, He died in our place as a substitute and suffered the punishment we deserve.
And through turning away from our sin, and placing our trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we are rescued from the judgment of God. What mercy is this that our great God has shown toward us!
As Paul says in Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,” (NASB).