When you consider the meaning of mercy, you can understand why God is good at being merciful. Simply put, mercy is not receiving what we deserve. We deserve judgment, but God is merciful in the dispensing of mercy despite fully knowing about the things we do. We deserve to have no hope, but God is merciful in that He gives abundant hope. We deserve to not experience His providence, but He is merciful with comforting blessings.
The Scripture points out to us, “For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant…” Actually, God is known for His mercy, and the main reason for it is because He desires to have relationship with us.
The Lord could not have relationship with us if He were not merciful, because, otherwise, He would completely alienate Himself from us. But, He is not willing to be that way. We are assured of it in that He mercifully manifests His presence with us. A merciful God—-such as He is—-would not deign to associate Himself with us by giving us the presence of His Holy Spirit the way He does.
He would not give us leadership for our lives the way He does. He would not give us His Word the way that He has. I consider as a great blessing in life to know that God is merciful by being present with us in this life we live.
Furthermore, God is known for His forsake-me-not mercy: “For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee..” This is a compelling consideration. By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we read that, because God is merciful, He will not forsake those providing spiritual leadership, neither will He fail them. If you are a leader in the Church, this has to be an assurance to you.
Because God is merciful, He will not forsake or fail those who are trying to advance the Church. The Bible speaks of how King Solomon had a heart to advance the Temple. He was told, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed, for the Lord God will be with thee. He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for service of the Lord.” If you put forth effort for the sake of God’s House, you have His merciful support.
Other verses point out that, if you live righteously, God is merciful to you. If you are faithful, God is merciful to you. If you are trustful, God is merciful to you. The mercy of God is manifested to us in more ways than we think. Why would not the Lord direct mercy toward those who have made decisions in life to stand for Him?
Another qualification is that God is known for His destroy-me-not mercy: “The Lord thy God is a merciful God; He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee…”
We are assured of such a qualitative mercy from Him because it is clear that He gives us opportunity to repent when we transgress His law and expectations, and He is longsuffering concerning it.
He extends forgiveness so well, “For who is a God like unto thee that pardons iniquity…He retains not His anger for ever, because He delights in mercy. He will turn again. He will have compassion upon us. He will subdue our iniquities. And, He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” That typifies our merciful God!
Cutting the course of this chase, God is known for His forget-me-not mercy, in that “He will not forget the covenant…” He will not forget the covenant He made with Israel, for sure. But, specifically for you and me, He will not forget the covenant of salvation He provided through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
That is how merciful God is. He could forget matters as it concern our eternal salvation. But, He just is not willing to forget what His Son did for us that gave us eternal hope. That is being greatly merciful, if you ask me.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio.