THE MERCY OF GOD
Today we’re going to look at the mercy of God. Have you ever done something wrong and needed someone to be merciful? I remember being asked by a friend to take care of her car while she was on vacation. What I didn’t know is that her license plates were expired. A police officer pulled me over, asked me for my drivers license and registration and informed me of the infraction. He asked me if I knew the plates were expired, which I didn’t. He then asked me to get out of the car, had it towed and made me walk home. It was a long walk home. I was devastated. I needed a little mercy that day.
Mercy is defined as compassionate treatment of an offender, enemy etc; clemency. A disposition to be kind and forgiving. God’s gratuitous compassion.
Compassion – A deep feeling of sharing in the suffering of another; mercy.
We see in the scripture that the mercy of God is linked to acts of compassion. They go to together. To be merciful is to show compassion. We’re not truly being merciful if it’s not followed by an act of compassion.
(Exo 33:19 NIV) And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
(Deu 13:17 NIV) None of those condemned things shall be found in your hands, so that the LORD will turn from his fierce anger; he will show you mercy, have compassion on you, and increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your forefathers,
(Zec 7:9 NIV) "This is what the LORD Almighty says: ’Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.
The mercy of God is powerful especially when mercy comes face to face with someone in trouble. Pt 1:
HIS MERCY IS GREAT
(Mat 18:33 NIV) Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
Mat 18:23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
Mat 18:24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
Mat 18:25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
Mat 18:26 "The servant fell on his knees before him. ’Be patient with me,’ he begged, ’and I will pay back everything.’
Mat 18:27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
Mat 18:28 "But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ’Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
Mat 18:29 "His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ’Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
Mat 18:30 "But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
Mat 18:31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
Mat 18:32 "Then the master called the servant in. ’You wicked servant,’ he said, ’I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
Mat 18:33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
Mat 18:34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
We see the heart of God and how great his mercy is as a man who owes the master millions of dollars can’t pay the debt. The man pleads, begs as he is faced with losing all he has. His wife, his children and everything else he owns. And then the most wonderful thing happens! God cancels the debt and let’s the man go. He not only has no more debt but he’s free to go. Freedom! Yahooo! In an instant he’s free from the burden, free from the stress, the pressure and the work to pay it all back.
How would you like it if all your school debt was cancelled. In an instant your life is changed. Wow what joy!
But then we see the heart of this man and what we can be like. This man goes out and finds a fellow servant who owed him a few dollars, grabs him, chokes him and demands payment.
The man begs for an opportunity to pay it back but the other man refuses. Instead he has the man thrown into prison for a few dollars.
What does this say about this man’s heart?
As great as the mercy of God is it did nothing to change the man’s heart. His heart was ungrateful. He was violent and physically abusive. He refuses to show compassion, patience. He’s unreasonable. He wants his money and he wants it now and if he can’t get it you will pay the price. God says he was wicked.
This was a wicked response to the mercy of God that had been shown to him.
What’s even greater about the mercy of God is he knows that for some his mercy, his pity, his compassion won’t change people at all, but he does it anyway.
God doesn’t say well I’ll show them mercy because they will handle it the right way. No God shows mercy on whom he wants to because God is a merciful and gracious God.
Now let’s look at someone who knew how to:
CRY FOR MERCY
David knew something about the mercy of God. He cried for often.
(Psa 6:9 NIV) The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
(Psa 9:13 NIV) O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
(Psa 25:6 NIV) Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
(Psa 28:2 NIV) Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
(Psa 28:6 NIV) Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy.
(Psa 30:8 NIV) To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
(Psa 31:22 NIV) In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight!" Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
(Psa 40:11 NIV) Do not withhold your mercy from me, O LORD; may your love and your truth always protect me.
(Psa 41:4 NIV) I said, "O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."
(Psa 41:10 NIV) But you, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them.
(Psa 51:1 NIV) For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
(Psa 57:1 NIV) For the director of music. To the tune of "Do Not Destroy." Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave. Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
(Psa 59:5 NIV) O LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, rouse yourself to punish all the nations; show no mercy to wicked traitors. Selah
(Psa 69:16 NIV) Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.
(Psa 79:8 NIV) Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.
(Psa 86:3 NIV) Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.
(Psa 86:6 NIV) Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.
(Psa 86:16 NIV) Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.
(Psa 116:1 NIV) I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
(Psa 119:132 NIV) Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
(Psa 123:2 NIV) As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.
(Psa 123:3 NIV) Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt.
(Psa 130:2 NIV) O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
(Psa 140:6 NIV) O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God." Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy.
(Psa 142:1 NIV) A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer. I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
(Psa 143:1 NIV) A psalm of David. O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.
Daniel had it right when he said in (Dan 9:18 NIV) Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
When was the last time you cried out for His mercy?
Here’s a few other important points about mercy.
CONFESS AND FIND MERCY
When we sin our tendency is to hide it, cover it up and so forth.
(Isa 55:7 NIV) Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
(Prov 28:13 NIV) He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Look at the heart of God.
GOD’S DESIRES MERCY
(Hosea 6:6 NIV) For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
(Micah 6:8 NIV) He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 7:18 NIV) Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
GOD LOVES MERCY!
People saw in Jesus a heart of mercy. They knew that in him they found someone different. Someone merciful. So much so that those that didn’t even know him but were in trouble came to Him begging for it.
The Canaanite woman Lord Son of David have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly. The two blind men called out Lord Son of David have mercy on us.
The father who’s son was demon possessed, Lord have mercy on my son. Troubled lives turned into peaceful lives. Jesus evangelism was filled with mercy so much so that when he healed a demon possessed man who wanted to go with him he told him in (Mark 5:19 NIV) Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
What do people need to hear from us as we share? They need to hear how God has shown us mercy! They need to hear about the mercy we have received from God. And how God’s mercy has changed us. We need to share that with the world and to one another.
(Rom 12:1 NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.
When we understand how merciful God has been to us we will offer ourselves. We will give our hearts even though it hurts. We recognize that what we have is not because we are righteous, not because of what we have done, not because we have earned it, but because God has been merciful.
(Psa 5:7 NIV) But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.
(2 Cor 4:1 NIV) Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
All that I am and all that I have is because of God’s mercy to me. May God help us to be a church that is merciful and that shows compassion.