Summary: God is a God of mercy, we too need to show mercy to others.
I heard about a wife, who had a terribly rough day with her 3 small children, all day and they had been terrible. Her husband got home about 5:30 that evening and before he could sit down, she lit in on him about the children’s behavior...He came back, with, she’s home, and it’s her fault if they act like that. Their argument grew in intensity and loudness. Finally after two hours of fussing and fighting...the husband said, "I’ll tell you what, let’s start the whole evening over again. I’ll go back outside and come in again and we’ll start over." She agreed. He went outside on the porch turned around came back to the door, opened it and called out, "Honey, I’m home." To which she replied with a sarcastic snarl, "It’s about time, it’s 7:30, where have you been for the last two hours?"
This message is the last one from the series, “Attributes of Our Awesome God.”
I hope that as we have looked at some of the attributes of God that you have gained a better understanding of who God is and what God is all about.
I want to ask you a couple of questions. How many of you have done things in your life that you did on purpose, then you were caught? When you were caught, what were you hoping for?
How many of you have done something on accident or without thinking that hurt someone? What did you want from the person that you wronged?
One more question. When you have been wronged, what do you want as payment for the wrong that was committed against you?
In our society, we really want to see justice given out to people. Justice seeks to give people what they deserve for what they have done. Justice seeks to get back at the person who perpetrated the wrong against us. Is there a place for justice? Yes there is.
There are people who are just looking for reasons to get mad at people. This is not the way we ought to be.
I am thankful for the attribute that we are going to look at today. This attribute will be one that allows us to stand before God and accept a ticket to heaven. Today we are going to look at the attribute of mercy.
The word’s mercy and compassion basically mean the same thing in the Bible.
The word mercy in the Old Testament is related to the word for “womb”. This may reflect a mother’s affection toward her child (as in 1 kings 3:26) or the bond sibling’s have for one another as in Genesis 43:30 where Joseph saw his brothers for the first time in years.
Other variations of the word have their roots in human relationships. The husband/wife, the father/son. One who experiences the mercy of another is to reciprocate when the opportunity presents itself.
Mercy is the willingness to spare or forgive someone.
Compassion is sorrow or pity with a desire to help or spare. It is sympathy for pain or sorrow that prompts one to help a person.
When we are dealing with family members, we usually give them a lot more leeway than we would a stranger. If our own children needed money or other help, we would try to help them. A compassionate, merciful person will extend those same graces to other people, as if they were a part of their family.
Today we will see that our Great God is a God of mercy and compassion. We will see that you need mercy. We will also see that a person who is a Christian needs to be a compassionate, merciful person.
I. GOD IS FULL OF MERCY
Listen to just a couple of passages with me.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
EPHESIANS 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
Paul tells us that God is rich in mercy because He loves us with a great love. Remember in the introduction when I said that mercy has is roots in the relationship between a mother and her child. That bond will allow a child to do some pretty bad things before a mother will not show mercy and compassion to her child.
When man has dealt with God throughout history, God has been merciful toward man. As I studied for this message, I found instance after instance where God could have administered justice to mankind, but instead dealt with them with mercy and compassion.
When God led the Israelites out of Egypt He then called Moses on the mountain to give Him the Ten Commandments (In Exodus 32). Moses had been on the mountain for about 40 days (Exodus 24:18) and the people thought that something happened to Moses. What did the people do? The commissioned Aaron to build a golden calf for them to worship. God knew what they were doing and He could have taken them out right then and there. As a matter of fact, that what He considered doing until Moses convinced Him not to do that (Exodus 32:10-14)