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 34:6).
When God passed before Moses, after proclaiming his name, “The LORD, The LORD, the first quality God attributed to himself was mercy. Our God is merciful. The Old Testament repeats this over and over. Jesus affirmed it as well:
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.(Luke 6:36)
God is merciful! He is full of tender mercies. What an amazing incredible attribute for the God who is sovereign and all-powerful to have. How good to know that the God who is infinitely holy and perfectly just is a fountain of mercy.
Jesus always responded to pleas for mercy:
And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” (Matthew 15:22)
And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. (Matthew 17:14-15)
And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matthew 20:30-31)
Jesus healed the woman’s daughter, cured the father’s epileptic son, and gave the blind men sight. Why? Because they cried to him for mercy.
To cry out for mercy is to humble ourselves. It is to admit to God that we don’t deserve any good thing from him. It is to recognize that he is a gracious God who blesses us not because of worthiness but because he is generous and lavish.
It was the love and mercy of our God that sent Jesus. We had stored up wrath and judgment for ourselves. God would have been completely just to banish us to hell forever. But in mercy he gave his justice to Jesus, who didn’t deserve it, and poured out his mercy on us, who certainly didn’t deserve it.
I regularly plead with Jesus to have mercy on me and my family. It gives me faith to recall that God is merciful. Before Jesus saved me I believed God was in heaven, lightning bolt in hand, poised to punish me for every failure. What an incredible revelation to learn he waits to pour out mercy on me.
I don’t know about you, but I sin, fail, miss the mark, drop the ball, make mistakes and poor decisions every day. I’m weak and needy. I find myself in situations that are way over my head and out of my control. I’m praying about family and friends facing afflictions that loom like mountain ranges. Just like you, I face uncertainty all the time.
Remember today – Our God is merciful. He is full of mercy. Cast yourself upon his mercy. He gives grace to the humble. He won’t turn away a plea for mercy.
O Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner!