God Delights To Show Mercy

January 3, 2014

Friends,
It’s interesting how every time Israeliteindeed writes a message, it’s about, or has included in it, something the Lord has shown me a day or two before. The latest (see yesterday’s post) was the last phrase in the verse Micah 7:18: “You [God]… delight to show mercy.” God happily forgives the truly repentant, as Israeliteindeed reminded us about, and He is glad to show mercy to those who call to Him in their need, whatever their need might be.

The main need people have is to be granted forgiveness and pardon for having sinned, and this verse is within such a context. What a blessing and relief to know that God finds joy in bestowing mercy to those who need it. But do all who need it actually bow their hearts to Him in submission and contrition and reverence? No, most people do not. So does God delight to show mercy on such people? No. We know from other Scripture passages that He forgives only the truly repentant –only those who are contrite over their sin, who renounce their sin, and who reject sin.

What about those people who show great remorse over their sin, and who do turn from their sin, but only for a short time? What about those who make this a pattern? –Sin, repent, sin, repent…? Well, God knows each person’s heart. He knows if the heart loves His ways and His laws, and is seeking to avoid the pitfalls. Is there an abuse situation at home or at work that is causing grief and sorrow and a weakening of the spirit so that Satan’s attacks are making their way in? Is there a troubling situation the person sees no way out of yet? Is there a health issue? All of these the Lord does take into account. For He delights to extend mercy.

But we better be careful. The grace and mercy of God can be missed. (Heb. 12:15) And if it is missed –actually sold for a measly bowl of sin– then seeking God’s blessing, even with tears, will likely prove fruitless. (v. 16,17) For though David’s repentance (2 Sam. 12:13 & 24:10), and even Ahab’s (1 Kings 21:27-29) and Manasseh’s (2 Chron. 33:12,13), the two later being very evil kings, were accepted (though not without severe consequences), Esau’s “repentance” was rejected. Why? Only God fully knows His reasons. And only He can see deep into each man’s heart.

Even so, we can take comfort in that last line of Micah 7:18: “You [God]… delight to show mercy.”

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