Our God is a God of mercy and it is a recurring theme in the Bible. The Psalmist David mentions mercy at least 27 times and the majority of those times, he is asking God to show him mercy. One of the more familiar occasions when David prays for mercy is after Nathan has confronted him regarding the adultery he committed with Bathsheba. David cried out to God, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” (Psalm 51:1 NKJV) Did God extend mercy to David? Of course He did. He extends the same mercy to you and to me when we ask for it.
Not only does God extend His mercy towards us, but He also wants us to extend mercy to others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt. 5:7) This verse is based on the sowing and reaping principle found in Galatians 6:7b “A man reaps what he sows.” Therefore, it stands to reason that if we sow mercy, we will reap mercy.
What is mercy? Dictionary.com says it is “compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence.”
I’d like to take the definition even further and say that mercy is the opposite of judgment. God should have judged us for our sins and found us guilty. Rather, He showed mercy to us and pardoned us from that judgment by having Jesus die on the cross for us and for our salvation. He gives mercy to us all the time. Just think about a typical day in your life. What happened? How many times do you now see where God extended mercy to you?
In the same way that God did not judge us, we are not to judge others. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” The message doesn’t get much clearer than that. If we judge someone, we will be judged. But as we saw earlier, Matthew 5:7 tells us if we are merciful, then God will show us mercy. I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer mercy.
Father God, thank you for your mercy. Thank you for extending your mercy to me when You should have been judged me. Forgive me for those times I have judged others rather than extending mercy. Help me to always have mercy. AMEN