The word mercy often brings to mind the image of an imposing figure dressed in black robes standing (or seated) before us waiting to pass judgment. Because that decision can be either for us or against us, we often hear of individuals “throwing themselves on the mercy of the court.” When we face the wrath of justice, we naturally have the tendency to hope for mercy or leniency, even those who know and accept their guilt.
So far, we have seen there are certain elements associated with mercy. They include law, guilt, justice, and punishment. Mercy can only be extended by those who have the authority or in a position to grant it. In the realm of spiritual matters, we need to realize that according to God’s standards we stand guilty. We have rebelled against His will and violated many (if not all) of the precepts He has set before us. As a result of that we face the wrath of God, His justice and our punishment.
Those who are aware of this often seek God’s mercy, and that is a good thing. That’s because God is merciful. In fact, His desire is that all be like Him in His mercy. In Matthew chapter five, verse seven we read “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” What a wonderful promise! God, the merciful judge of all mankind is telling us that there are those who will receive His mercy, and they will be those who extend mercy to others. It seems to be very clear that if we want God’s mercy, we need to be willing to give it to others.
God’s mercy is so great that He withholds nothing from us in order to receive it. His Son, Jesus Christ, came to this earth and lived perfectly and sinless, and was punished for us on the cross of Calvary, in order that we might hope for God’s mercy. It can only come through faith in Him! If you were before the Judgment seat of God today expecting or hoping for mercy, how would you fare? Knowing now what He desires, can you expect the mercy of God, or His wrath?
Copyright © 2002, Nolan P. Rutter