Mercy can be defined as the act of showing kindness to someone, or compassion given to someone who has erred. Mercy can also mean alleviating suffering and refraining from causing one harm when it’s within one’s power to do so.

God is mercy. When we say God is mercy we don’t mean it’s what He does, we mean it’s who He is. Mercy is His character.

God’s mercy

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Exodus 34:5-6

When Moses asked to know God, he wanted to see His glory. God proclaims His name before Moses. He says, “ I am the LORD, I am Merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness.” He didn’t say, “I am the all-consuming fire, or I am God almighty, or I am the judge of all the earth.” Which He is.

The first time God reveals Himself to a man, He shows Him His heart. This is His heart- mercy, grace, love, and faithful.

God had spoken to Moses and said, “ I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. Exodus 33:19

This is God’s goodness over us- His mercy, grace, steadfast love, and faithfulness.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 145:8

Notice the theme, mercy, grace, slow to get angry, love and faithfulness always go together. Whenever His mercy shows up, all these follow. They cannot be separated.

The LORD’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. Lamentations 3:22-23GNT

His mercies are new every morning, as long as we can see the sun rising we can be assured of His mercy rising over us each day.

His Mercy triumphs over Judgment

But let him that boasts boast in this, the understanding and knowing that I am the Lord that excercises mercy, and judgment and righteousness, upon the earth for in these things is my pleasure, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24 BST

The first thing that we should boast about knowing God is His mercy. Mercy precedes judgment, not the other way round. Before we see God’s judgment in a situation mercy has preceded it.

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4

Mercy here is defined by three things: kindness, tolerance, and patience. The mercy of God is kind, tolerant, and it suffers long. The reason why God shows us mercy is to lead us to repentance. Judgment doesn’t lead us to repentance; His kindness is what leads us to repentance. Where God wants repentance He releases His mercy.

Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Matthew 9:13

Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees who were big on sacrifices but didn’t show mercy to those who were in need. He corrects them that He would rather they be merciful to others rather than bring Him sacrifices.

He is more interested in the condition of our hearts rather than an outward fulfillment of the law.

We’ve often met people who were religious but weren’t very nice. And it often left a bitter taste in our mouths. We have been those Christians sometimes, self-righteous but unmerciful. This verse is for us too, that in our knowing God, we have to know His heart for others and learn the art of being merciful as He is.

Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] father is merciful. Luke 6:36

We are more like our Father when we show mercy to others.

How do we receive His mercy?

Because God is merciful does this mean that He just shows mercy? We have to remember that as He is merciful, He is also righteous and holy. Therefore God will not neglect righteousness in place of mercy. They go hand in hand.

For I will be merciful towards their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

Referencing the New Covenant where Jesus pays for our sin. When we repent and receive Jesus’ payment, God can now be merciful towards our sinfulness. He can be able to forget our sins.

Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Joel 2:12-13

In repentance and returning, we become recipients of His mercy and grace. A rending of our hearts means we are truly sorrowful for our sins.

The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation. Numbers 14:18

Even though He is merciful, He doesn’t leave the guilty unpunished. The only way the guilty is cleared is when they turn to God in repentance.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, or he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7

We have to forsake our wicked ways, and our unrighteous thoughts and return to the LORD for mercy.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We can come before Him without fear because we know the debt has been paid. We can ask for mercy and grace in times of need knowing He will never begrudge us.

I pray that in your knowing the Lord, you will know that He is kind, compassionate, and tender towards us at all times. Even when we fall short, in our sin, in correction and chastisement, He is merciful, patient, and loving and this will never change.

3 thoughts on “        THE MERCY OF GOD [STUDY]       

  1. When he first revealed himself he described himself as Merciful, that really struck me Lucy. And how you tied in the verses that show that his mercy is his patience, kindness and forbearance. It is the Lord’s mercy when he is slow to judge as he desires for all to turn to Him and repent. And may we remember that he has been so merciful to us and we should extend that to others too. Not the easiest in every situation but try we must.
    On a side note, thoroughly enjoying the fast devotional. Am being so blessed and encouraged by it. May God bless your writing Lucy. May your devotional and other writings reach many more 🙏🏽.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I loved that it’s the first thing He says about Himself to Moses.

      True, May He help us to be as merciful as He is, it’s not easy but through the Holy spirit we can know when people need a little mercy to lift them up. I know I need all the help I can get🤚.

      Awww…Thank you so much for your feedback, I’m so glad it’s blessing you. I pray that your Bible studies continue to bless many as they already are..May He continue speaking through you too Manu. Grace my friend❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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