Summary: Throughout the Old Testament, the theme that rings out is that our God is a merciful God. Scripture after Scripture speaks of His mercies. For instance, in Psalm 116:5 (NKJV) 5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.
Throughout the Old Testament, the theme that rings out is that our God is a merciful God. Scripture after Scripture speaks of His mercies. For instance, in Psalm 116:5 (NKJV) 5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. His mercies are talked about in Deuteronomy, Chronicles, Nehemiah, and various other places in Psalms.
We move to the New Testament, and God mercies are continued to be talked about but with a little extra twist to it: “us.” Luke 6:36 (NKJV) 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. The New Testament continues to declare the mercies of God, but it is telling us that we, as believers in Jesus, should be extending mercies just like our Heavenly Father extends mercy.
Here is the bad news: if we are told in God’s Word to extend mercies to others like our Heavenly Father extended mercies to us, it means that people are going to hurt us just like we hurt Jesus with our sin. No one in this room in going to be immune from being hurt by someone else.
So, here is the challenge we all have to face. Someone has hurt us, and we know that we should extend mercy to that person, but we have a hard time in our hearts, finding mercy. And by mercy, we mean they the person or persons deserve something for the pain they caused us, but we choose not to give them what they deserve.
Let’s be honest; it is hard sometimes to find that mercy we need to show? It is my hope as we look at the Scripture today from Matthew 5:2-11, we will be able to discover why it is hard to extend mercy at times.
Matthew 5:2-11 (NKJV)
2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
WHEN I FAIL TO EXTEND MERCY TO ANOTHER, SOMETIMES IT IS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO TAKE JUSTICE OUT OF MY HANDS AND PUT IT IN GOD’S HANDS.
In the Old Testament, Jonah and his fellow Jews wanted Ninevah to come under judgment since Assyria was an enemy of Israel, and Ninevah was its capital city. And Jonah did not want to take justice out of his hands and his fellow Israelites and give it to God because the outcome may not be what Jonah and His fellow Israelites wanted. And that is what happened precisely.
Jonah 3:10 – 4:2 (NKJV)
10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. 2 So he prayed to the LORD, and said, "Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
Now let’s bring that down to our level. We want the person or persons that hurt us to pay. If we show mercy, we are telling God, you handle this situation and do as You think is best, and we back away. But you and I both know that our God is a merciful God and that He may not give them what you or I think that they deserve. God might let them off easy in our eyes, so we don’t extend mercy because we want them to pay. We withhold our mercy because we want to make sure they pay for the hurt that they inflicted on us.
WHEN I FAIL TO EXTEND MERCY TO ANOTHER, SOMETIMES IT IS BECAUSE I AM LISTENING TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO AE TELLING ME TO GET EVEN WITH THAT PERSON.
There is a story in 2 Samuel 16 where a Benjamite by the name of Shimei was throwing stones at David and cursing him as David was traveling through the region. One soldier in particular by the name of Abishai, was asking why are we allowing this to happen to you? Let me go over there and take off his head. And David said no, let God deal with the situation.