A main theme that runs throughout the Bible is that of mercy. Of course, we know that words can carry many meanings and used in various terms in the Bible and the word “mercy” is no different. In one sense mercy is used of kindness especially as extended to the lowly, the needy and the miserable.
God has always wanted man to be merciful to those who are in need. In setting about His divine laws and precepts, God instructed Israel to not wholly reap their fields when they harvested or when they gleaned. They were to leave the corners of their fields and were not to gather every grape from the vineyard. God instructed that these were to be left for the poor and the stranger. Leviticus 19:9,10. But it did not stop or apply only to the common individual to have this mercy or kindness toward others.
Those in authority and leadership need to show and extend mercy, kindness and compassion. Proverbs 20:28 declares “Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.” What is it that guards the king? What protects and maintains the king in his role in relation to his subjects?
Scripture declares that it is two things. One being kindness to those of a lower state under his rule. He must have and show mercy and compassion to the lowly and needy under his dominion. He must extend mercy, this kindness, to the widows and fatherless and not just only to the wealthy and prominent who may benefit him. The other is truth. Being trustworthy in his dealings concerning all matters. Being right and sure and true in his decisions and actions which he makes and the laws which he enacts. There is no favoritism, no preference and no partiality in his judgments or decrees. The king is to be just and fair to all in his dealings and in his reign.
These two items will preserve the king if he employs them in his rule. His throne, his rule, his kingdom will be established, it will be held up and strengthened by mercy.
Mercy, kindness and compassion must be extended. God himself exercised the greatest mercy and compassion toward us in the giving of Jesus as the Christ because God fully knew our lowly and needy estate as we were most miserable due to the bondage of sin.
- Larry Bumgardner