The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made (Psalm 145:9 ESV).
The Lord delivered His message through Moses,
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ (Exodus 20:4-6 NKJV).
Their response was immediate:
“All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8).
Yet, a scant time later, they had forgotten about God and claimed that Moses had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They ordered Aaron to make them a golden calf to worship (Exodus 32:1). In a short time, they had debased themselves before the idols and God was mad. God had been prepared to destroy the Israelites and raise up another nation in their stead, but Moses convinced Him otherwise (Exodus 32:7-14).
I say Moses convinced God but it was more likely that God allowed Himself to be convinced. Let me explain what I mean.
Have you ever been angry? So angry that rational thought felt impossible? I imagine that was the kind of anger God was feeling but you know, God-like. He had chosen an insignificant people and done mighty works in their presence. But they couldn’t even last two months before they went back on their word to obey Him. Why shouldn’t He have destroyed them?
It’s a one word answer: mercy.
God had mercy on His people. He knew they were prone to disobedience. He knew they would disobey Him and serve idols, not once but many times until He would have to punish them. But still He chose mercy as He has since the beginning of time, as He continues to do now.
In Jamaica, “lawd have mercy!” is a frequent exclamation. It’s used to express shock, dismay, or excitement. We say it, but we don’t realize how true it is. My friend, like the Israelites, you and I would not be alive without God’s mercy.
I like how the Oxford Dictionary defines mercy:
compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Doesn’t that put things in perspective for you? God is able to punish any of us at any time because we are fully dependent on Him. Yet, He doesn’t. Not because He’s weak, but because He wants to give us the chance to turn to Him. He wants us to call on Him, to worship, and to serve Him.
How has God shown you mercy? Will you call on Him today?
We thank You for Your mercy. We’re grateful that compassion is not just something You practice, it’s a part of Your character. You’re a merciful Father who lavishly bestows grace on Your children.
Help us not to take advantage of Your kindness but that we should continue to seek You and give You the honor You deserve. As we go through this day, I pray You will remind us that we have much to be thankful for. And when we forget or fail to act according to who we are in Christ, have mercy on us, O God and do not treat us as our sins deserve.
Thank You for Your grace and mercy, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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