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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”—Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
Our attempt to fully fathom God’s nature is like an ant trying to calculate trigonometry or compose a symphony; there’s a gap in understanding that just can’t be bridged, no matter what! An infinite Creator cannot be completely understood by His creation. The sooner we surrender to that reality, the better.
However, there are certain aspects of God’s nature that we can understand, because He’s made them perfectly clear to us. He essentially says to us, “This is what I’m like. This is what I’m about!” And one of these characteristics is His mercy. Just in case we need a refresher, here’s how mercy is defined: Compassionate or kindly patience shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one's power; compassion, pity, or benevolence.
Scripture shows us again and again that God is merciful. From Adam and Eve, to Cain, to Noah’s family, to Abraham, to Jacob, to Moses, to just about every person we see in Scripture, God shows patience and compassion—even though He has every right and ability to judge and destroy them.
Is there any clearer example of this than in His dealing with the people of Nineveh? During their day, no group of people on the planet deserved divine judgment more than the Assyrians. Their atrocities defy human imagination. Surely, if God was going to pour out His wrath, it would be upon their capital city. And yet, Jonah 3:10 (NKJV) says, “God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it” (NKJV).
God chooses mercy over judgment. And that is a truth we should be eternally thankful for because when you really understand sin and its consequences, all of us deserve divine judgment. We may look good compared to the ancient Assyrians, but not to a holy and righteous God.
The mercy that saved Nineveh is the same mercy that saves us. God goes so far as to invite us into His mercy, to approach Him fully, knowing and trusting that in Him we will always find the forgiveness and compassion we need.
DIG: What does God want us to know about Him?
DISCOVER: What does it mean to be merciful? How should/does God’s mercy define your relationship with Him?
DISPLAY: Today, choose mercy. If you hear something upsetting or aggravating about someone, choose mercy. If you see someone doing something incorrectly or taking a long time, choose mercy. Find ways to show God’s mercy to the people around you.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.