God's Grace And Mercy
“For God is my King from of old. Working salvation in the midst of the earth”.
God’s nature is to save. Man’s nature is to sin. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I Jn. 1:8, “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”. God does not change his nature because of what man does. John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8. God does not forget those who are lost. He keeps trying to save. So, God’s grace and mercy was needful for us to be saved.
God’s grace goes before his mercy. A way or plan had to be in place for God’s mercy to come, hence, grace. Eph. 2:4, “but God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love (grace) with which he loved us. Why is mercy needful? Again, man’s nature is to sin. It is said, by grace we are reconciled to God, by his mercy we remain reconciled. God’s covenant with man is based upon mercy. Duet. 4:31, Exodus 20:5,6. Mercy, as accepting God’s grace, is conditional.
Grace and mercy are used much throughout the Bible. And exhaustive study could be done, and still not cover all that is involved in these words. One synonym for the word mercy would be lovingkindness. This word only appears in the Hebrew form (Old Testament) which means God’s covenant with his people.
Mercy—is and outward manifestation of pity. Pity is not mercy, but mercy is a manifestation of pity. James 2:15,16. So the manifestation of pity is mercy, which assumes need on the part of one who receives it, and resources adequate to meet the need on the part of him who shows it.
Psalms 106:1, and 107:1 states God’s mercy endures forever, but only upon those who keeps his commandments. God’s mercy is great toward us as a merciful God. If not, we could not stand before him. He expects his children to be merciful toward each other.
Christ in Matthew 9:13, “but go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, when the Pharisees ask the question, why does your teacher eat with tax collectors.
In 12:7, Christ again speaks these words, but says first, if you had known what this means, when the Pharisees again question him why his disciples plucked heads of grain on the Sabbath. He quotes from I Samuel 21, the example of David and his men eating the showbread from the temple which only the priest were allow to eat.
David speaks these words in a little different manner in Psalms 51:16,17. Hosea quotes them in Hoses 6:6, and Paul alludes to them in ICor. 13:3 when he says,” if I have not love”.
What does Christ mean when he tells the Pharisees, if you had known what this means? Do we understand what this means? Simple means a higher law suspends a lower law. To higher law of mercy suspended the lower law of the showbread. David took it and mercifully gave it to his followers.
- CL Bruner