Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:1-3 KJV

Mercy and justice are perfectly combined in God so that one or the other deals with all evil. Mercy is the alpha and justice is the omega.

In our impatience we often wish God’s judgement was not so slow. Like Jonah we want God to destroy the wicked pagans before He gives them a warning and an offer of mercy. Mercy sometimes seems almost like a crime when it is offered to one that you think is deserving of wrath. David felt this way when the prophet Nathan told him of the rich man who took the poor man’s only lamb and killed it for his meal. David was not like God, but just the opposite. His sense of justice was swift, and he was ready to reek immediate vengeance on the wicked man. He only reverse his rush toward revenge when Nathan said, “Thou art the man.” David then realised that he was the scoundrel whose sin had made him so mad.

When he saw that he was the one under condemnation, then mercy became far more precious than justice. We tend to want justice for the other guy, but mercy for ourselves when we are the ones who are guilty. The truly godly man will learn to love mercy for everyone. God required that the godly man combined mercy with justice just as God combines it in His nature. 

Micah 6:8 says,

“He has showed you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”

The degree to which we succeed in showing mercy and loving kindness determines much as to the mercy we receive from God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”

Someone wrote,

Teach me to feel another’s woe,

To hide the fault I see;

That mercy I to others show

That mercy show to me.

It is tragic but true what George Eliot wrote, “We hand folks over to God’s mercy and show none ourselves.”

True godlike mercy is both a feeling and a matter of action. As an emotion mercy is the desire to pardon one who deserves punishment. It is that feeling parents get when their children do something so wrong that it deserves severe punishment, and yet there is a desire to pardon because they love their children.

By Pastor Glenn Pease excerpted from The Mercy of God Sermon

Our lives are rooted in the mercies of God. Our lives are founded on the mercies of God.