Psalm 136:1, “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever
Mercy according to my Webster's Dictionary means:
(1) compassion or forbearance shown to an offender or subject; clemency or kindness extended to someone instead of strictness or severity;
(2) a blessing regarded as an act of divine favour or compassion;
(3) relief of distress; compassion shown to victims of misfortune.
According to Unger's Bible Dictionary, "mercy" is defined as "a form of love determined by the state or condition of its objects. Their state is one of suffering and need, while they may be unworthy or ill-deserving. Mercy is, at once the disposition of love respecting such, and the kindly ministry of love for their relief."
In more than four hundred places in Scripture the Mercy of God is mentioned directly and is also mentioned indirectly in hundreds more, from parables to prayers. My brethren, too often we fail to acknowledge God's enduring mercy.
Sometimes this is because we are confused or depressed or because we fear our sins have placed us beyond his reach. God’s mercy reminded me of His rainbow and His cross. Let me explain what I mean.
I remember so very vividly one day in July of last year a steady rain was falling and as I looked toward the east, lightning punctuated the dark angry clouds. Towards the west, the sun was shining so brightly and set against the ominous sky in vivid living colour was the most brilliant double rainbow I had ever seen!
In just a few brief moments earth’s Creator was whispering through the soft glow of that spanning arch.
My thoughts at that time…..
“were people really listening? Did they hear His message of mercy?”
That rainbow reflected God’s promise that He would never again, judge the wickedness of the earth by a flood.
However, there is another symbol which speaks of His mercy. It’s a rough-hewn cross, whose shadow is cast over all of history against the backdrop of human sin. It promises that God’s wrath will never fall on those who trust Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Jesus Himself bore its full force in our place.
The rainbow…… and the cross…….
both speak so eloquently and silently of God’s precious love and enduring mercy.
The question then arises; what if we reject the cross and Christ’s death?
You know, God gives us that freedom;
however, there will never be any other symbols of mercy……..no other covenants.
My friend, God has done all He can do to win our voluntary allegiance. Look to the cross of Calvary, where He Himself bore the awful consequences of our sin in the person and body of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
Like all of God’s attributes, His mercy is intrinsic to Him. He is called “the Father of mercies” and a “God of mercy” (2 Corinthian 1:3; Nehemiah 9:17). His mercy is also abundantly great and boundless, higher than the heavens and filling the earth. Scripture refers to “the multitude of his mercies” (Lamentations 3:32) because the acts stemming from this attribute are so numerous.
Mercy isn’t receiving what we do deserve.
We deserve to go to hell, but by His infinite mercy we shall never go there, if you have received His Son, as Saviour.
We don’t deserve to go to heaven either, but by His grace we’ll spend eternity there.
His grace justifies and His mercy pardons.
His grace admits us to heaven and His mercy saves us from hell.
The only thing that will last forever is God’s mercy. In Psalm 136 we are reminded of this inspiring truth.
Twenty-six times the writer gives us something for which to praise the Lord, and then he reminds us,
“His mercy endures forever”.
Have you ever considered what this means when:
we sin and need forgiveness…….
our lives seem a jumbled mess that we can’t control,
we can’t find anyone to turn to for help…..
each day is a struggle because of illness, despair, or conflict……
even life, sometimes seems overwhelming.
My friend, we can still praise the Lord, because His mercies don't cease or fail. They are new every morning (Lamentation 3),
Constantly fresh…. and perfect…… and never fading with age…… His mercy endures forever.
Thank you Mikey